(Desmodium lineatum/Desmodium incanum)
This beautiful little plant is much vilified by gardeners and mothers alike. An open mind is helpful when dealing with native plants, they were here first and aren't available at garden centers.
- Beggar's Tick is a nitrogen-fixing legume. The natural bacteria that congregates around the roots of the plant fix atmospheric nitrogen and turn the nitrogen into a plant soluble form. When the plant dies the bacteria and plant roots decay and release nutrition.
- Beggar's Tick loves growing in very poor soil and bare sand. Disbelieve the plant profile on Dave's Garden, which seems to be the same for every plant in existence. Beggar's Tick thrives in an acidic soil with low moisture and is a perennial
- Beggar's Tick has amazing flowers. This little plant has bi-colored leaves and in late spring or early summer will shoot up a little stalk with almost orchid-like pink/purple flowers.
- Beggar's Tick's taproot and diminutive size make it ideal for a small rock garden. The taproot will burrow into the rocky area, aerating. When the plant dies the organic matter will be left to improve the rocky area.
- Beggar's Tick has evolved a unique method of spreading its seeds. It can't be a coincidence that they are frequently found near sidewalks and roadways.