Desmodium humifusum - (Muhl. ex Bigelow) Beck
Trailing Tick-trefoil
Other English Common Names: Eastern Trailing Tick-trefoil
Other Common Names: eastern trailing ticktrefoil
Synonym(s): Desmodium x humifusum (Muhl. ex Bigelow) Beck
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Desmodium humifusum (Muhl. ex Bigelow) Beck (TSN 502018)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.136935
Element Code: PDFAB1D0M0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Desmodium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Desmodium humifusum
Taxonomic Comments: May be a hybrid of Desmodium paniculatum and D. rotundifolium. See Raveill, J. A. 2002. Allozyme evidence of the hybrid origin of Desmodium humifusum (Fabaceae) Rhodora 104: 253-270.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2Q
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Jan2013
Global Status Last Changed: 10Oct1991
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Poorly known but thought to have been widespread in the northeast at one time. Extirpated (state historic) in DE, MD, NJ, and NY. Now reduced to about 6 scattered remnant populations. Threats include development, ORVs, suppression of fire which maintains favorable habitat, and invasive species. Likely a hybrid of Desmodium paniculatum and D. rotundifolium, which reliably co-occur with D. humifusum. Allozyme studies support this hypothesis (Raveill 2002).
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (S1), Delaware (SH), Indiana (S1), Maryland (SH), Massachusetts (S1), Missouri (SNA), New Jersey (S1), New York (SH), Pennsylvania (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Currently known from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, and Pennsylvania; historical records from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. May be worth searching for in Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Six extant EOs and 14 historical/extirpated EOs.

Population Size Comments: One large and one small population in Massachusetts, one small population in Connecticut. One small population also believed present in Indiana. Number of plants unknown. It is difficult to estimate the number of ramets due to the loose mats of procumbent, intertwining vines (Dolan 2004). In addition, the species is clonal (Dolan 2004).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown
Overall Threat Impact Comments: In the Northeast, development and ORVs are threats. Suppression of fire at some sites allows for the succession of woody species, which creates too much shade for the species. In Hoosier National Forest, Coronilla varia is grows aggressively and competes for habitat. The species appears to be resistant to herbicide, which is especially relevant for sites in powerline rights-of-way (Dolan 2004).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Once thought to be more widespread in New England (Dolan 2004). Of the documented 14+ EOs, only 6 are extant.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Fragile: populations may tend to be small and therefore vulnerable to stochastic events (Dolan 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Currently known from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, and Pennsylvania; historical records from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. May be worth searching for in Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DE, IN, MA, MD, MO, NJ, NY, PA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Litchfield (09005), New London (09011)*, Tolland (09013), Windham (09015)*
DE Kent (10001)*
IN Perry (18123)
MA Franklin (25011), Hampden (25013), Hampshire (25015), Worcester (25027)
MD Anne Arundel (24003)*, Montgomery (24031)*, Prince Georges (24033)*, Wicomico (24045)*
NJ Cumberland (34011), Hunterdon (34019)*, Middlesex (34023)*, Monmouth (34025)*, Morris (34027)*, Somerset (34035)*, Union (34039)*
NY Bronx (36005)*, Orange (36071)*, Westchester (36119)*
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Berks (42011)*, Bucks (42017)*, Centre (42027)*, Clinton (42035), Lancaster (42071)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Nashua (01070004)+, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Westfield (01080206)+, Quinebaug (01100001)+, Shetucket (01100002)+, Thames (01100003)+*, Housatonic (01100005)+
02 Lower Hudson (02030101)+*, Bronx (02030102)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+*, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+*, Middle West Branch Susquehanna (02050203)+, Bald Eagle (02050204)+*, Upper Juniata (02050302)+*, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+*, Patuxent (02060006)+*, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+*, Eastern Lower Delmarva (02080110)+*
05 Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: An herbaceous perennial with a ground-spreading habit; trailing stems up to 2 m long. Small purple flowers bloom July-August.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Species is clonal, spreading by trailing stems, but also reproduces sexually. Flowers in July and August. Seeds require no pretreatment to germinate. Fruits are hairy, segmented loments which are readily stick to animal fur (Dolan 2004).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Open, sunny woods with sandy, acidic soils that formed on chert or sandstone (Dolan 2004).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Dec2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Rawinski, T.J.; C. Russell (1997); S. Neid (1998), minor rev. K. Gravuer (2007), rev. A. Treher (2012)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Dolan, R.W. 2004. Conservation Assessment for Trailing tick-trefoil (Desmodium humifusum). Prepared for USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wildlife/tes/ca-overview/docs/Desmodium%20humifusum2.pdf. 17 pp.

  • FERNALD. 1940. ADDITIONS TO THE FLORA OF VIRGINIA. RHODORA 42(503):398-399; 42(504):457.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Haines, A. 2011. Flora Novae Angliae: a manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 973 pp.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • ISELY, D. 1983. THE DESMODIUM PANICULATUM (L.) DC. (FABACEAE) COMPLEX REVISITED. SIDA 10(2): 142-158.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

  • RAWINSKI, T.J. 1990. FINAL STATUS REPORT: THE DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF GROUND-SPREADINGTICK-TREFOIL (DESMODIUM HUMIFUSUM). THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, E. HERITAGE TASK FORCE, 294 WASHINGTON ST. BOSTON, MA. 02108. 7 PP. AND APPENDIX.

  • Raveill, J. A. 2002. Allozyme evidence for the hybrid origin of Desmodium humifusum (Fabaceae). Rhodora 104:253-270.

  • Rawinski, Thomas J. 1990. Final status survey report: The distribution and abundance of ground-spreading tick-trefoil (Desmodium HUMIFUSUM). Unpublished report: Eastern Heritage Task Force, Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • Rhoads, A.F., and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The vascular flora of Pennsylvania: Annotated checklist and atlas. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA. 636 pp.

  • Steyermark, J. 1963. Flora of Missouri. University of Iowa Press, Ames.

  • Tatnall, R.R. 1946. Flora of Delaware and the Eastern Shore. The Society of Natural History of Delaware. 313 pp.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

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