Desmodium ochroleucum - M.A. Curtis ex Canby
Cream Tick-trefoil
Other English Common Names: Cream-flowered Tick-trefoil, Creamflower Tick-trefoil, Trailing Tick-trefoil, White Tick-trefoil
Other Common Names: cream ticktrefoil
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Desmodium ochroleucum M.A. Curtis ex Canby (TSN 25814)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.129120
Element Code: PDFAB1D100
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 ochroleucum
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Jun2015
Global Status Last Changed: 17Jun2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Desmodium ochroleucum formerly occurred in 12 eastern states and is now extirpated or historic in four states. In 2015, there are 25 confirmed extant occurrences. Threats include logging, soil disturbance, invasive exotic plants, and roadside maintenance such as mowing or scraping. Fire exclusion resulting in woody scrub or tree encroachment is also an important threat.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

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 Alabama (S2), Delaware (SH), District of Columbia (SH), Florida (S1), Georgia (S1), Maryland (S1), Mississippi (S1), Missouri (SH), New Jersey (SX.1), North Carolina (SH), Tennessee (S1), Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Desmodium ochroleucum is severely fragmented in its range and currently occurs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: 25 occurrences have been confirmed extant since 1995 (NatureServe Central Database 2015).

Population Size Comments: As of 2007, less than 700 individual plants are known, of which less than 500 are mature individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: There are substantial immediate threats from logging, soil disturbance and invasive exotic plants such as the Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) (Chafin 2000). Populations near roads are threatened by frequent roadside mowing and scraping. Fire suppression or lack of fire results in shrub and tree encroachment in habitat openings (Tyndall and Groller 2006). Desmodium ochroleucum is intrinsically threatened by its limited distribution and the causes of its decline are unknown and of serious concern (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002). Climate conditions, such as severe drought, have been documented as substantially decreasing the number of plants (Tyndall and Groller 2006).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Long-term Trend Comments: 21 historic: Extirpated in 1 state and historic in 3 states.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Desmodium ochroleucum is severely fragmented in its range and currently occurs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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 AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJextirpated, TN, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Autauga (01001), Clarke (01025), Dallas (01047), Greene (01063), Hale (01065), Jackson (01071), Madison (01089), Montgomery (01101), Sumter (01119), Wilcox (01131)
FL Jackson (12063)
GA Lee (13177)*, Twiggs (13289)*, Walker (13295)
MD Calvert (24009)*, Caroline (24011)*, Dorchester (24019), Talbot (24041)*
MO Dunklin (29069)*, New Madrid (29143)*, Stoddard (29207)*
MS Chickasaw (28017), Choctaw (28019), Kemper (28069), Winston (28159)
NC Davie (37059)*
NJ Salem (34033)*
TN Blount (47009)*, Franklin (47051), Knox (47093)*, Lewis (47101), Montgomery (47125)*, Perry (47135)
VA New Kent (51127), Northampton (51131)*, Prince Edward (51147)*, Surry (51181)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Delaware Bay (02040204)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+*, Upper Chesapeake Bay (02060001)+*, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+*, Severn (02060004)+*, Choptank (02060005)+*, Pamunkey (02080106)+, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+*, Lower James (02080206)+*, Appomattox (02080207)+*
03 Upper Yadkin (03040101)+*, Lower Ocmulgee (03070104)+*, Kinchafoonee-Muckalee (03130007)+*, Chipola (03130012)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Upper Alabama (03150201)+, Middle Alabama (03150203)+, Lower Alabama (03150204)+, Tibbee (03160104)+, Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub (03160106)+, Sipsey (03160107)+, Noxubee (03160108)+, Lower Black Warrior (03160113)+, Lower Tambigbee (03160203)+
05 Red (05130206)+*
06 Holston (06010104)+*, Lower French Broad (06010107)+*, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+*, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+*, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Lower Duck (06040003)+
08 Lower St. Francis (08020203)+*, Little River Ditches (08020204)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with trailing stems, up to 1 m long. Leaves have three leaflets and ovate clasping stipules that are 6-12 mm long. Produces white flowers. Pods are hairless except along the edges. Flowers from June to August. Fruiting from August to October.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Desmodium ochroleucum is in the group of Desmodium with stems that trail along the ground (Isely 1998). In addition to its habit, it is distinguished by its conspicuous ovate clasping stipules, white to cream-colored flowers and by the fruit; loments are hairless except along the sutures which are minutely pubescent with soft curled hairs (Isely 1998; Weakley 2004). Two similar species are D. canescens and D. rotundifolium. D. canescens has similar leaves but its habit is erect or ascending and it has purple flowers (Isely 1998). D. rotundifolium is trailing like D. ochroleucum but has large round leaflets, blue-purple flowers and a loment that is hairy over the surface (Weakley 2004). For a technical description see Isely (1998).
Reproduction Comments: Seeds have hooked hairs that stick to animal fur (Chafin 2010)
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Mixed, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Old field, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: Desmodium ochroleucum occurs along roadsides, right-of-ways (hydro), prairies or prairie-like openings, and in openings in mixed hardwood of temperate forests. Suitable soil conditions are dry sandy loam soil, especially over limestone. (Tyndall and Groller 2006, Weakley 2006, Chafin 2000, Isely 1998).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Continue to monitor known populations for status of threats, site condition, and abundance of plants. Prevent clearcutting and soil disturbance in upland hardwood forests (Chafin 2000, 2010). Control invasive exotic plants such as Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica). Periodic brush hogging or removal of woody plants is proving favorable to maintain habitat. Prescribed ground fires as a management tool will also reduce shrub/tree encroachment (Tyndall and Groller 2006).
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Desmodium ochroleucum should have more than 100 plants showing evidence of excellent reproduction (numerous flowers and fruits). Plants occur in ecotones of open chalk prairie or cedar glade.
Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence Desmodium ochroleucum should have between 50 and 100 plants with evidence of reproduction. Plants occur in ecotones of open to partially closed chalk prairie or cedar glade. Populations with more than 100 plants occurring in partially closed chalk prairie or cedar glade are ranked here.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence Desmodium ochroleucum should have between 20 to 50 plants with evidence of reproduction. Plants occur in ecotones of open to partially closed cedar glade or chalk prairie. Populations with more plants, but occurring in degraded glades or prairies are ranked here.
Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence Desmodium ochroleucum should have fewer than 20 plants and show evidence of poor or no reproduction. Plants generally occur in degraded glades or prairies or in unnatural openings such as roadsides with no potential for restoration.
Justification: The element occurrence rank specifications for Desmodium ochroleucum are based on all current occurrences and expert knowledge of the species.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 06Jan2005
Author: Amoroso, J.
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: 17Jun2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Broaddus, Lynn (1991), rev. Maybury/Ludwig (1996), rev. L. Morse (2002), rev. A. Tomaino (2004), rev. M. Anions (2007), rev. A. Treher (2015)
Management Information Edition Date: 17Jun2015
Management Information Edition Author: Tomaino, A. (2004), rev. A. Treher (2015).
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): rev. A. Tomaino (2004)

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
  • Chafin, L. G. 2000. Field guide to the rare plants of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. [http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/]

  • Chafin, L.G. 2010a. Rare Plant Species Profiles: Desmodium ochroleucum. Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Online. Available: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/uploads/wildlife/nongame/pdf/accounts/plants/desmodium_ochroleucum.pdf.

  • 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.

  • Isely, D. 1990. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Vol. 3, Part 2. Leguminosae (Fabaceae). Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 258 pp.

  • Isely, D. 1998. Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University; MLBM Press, Provo, Utah. 1007 pp.

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

  • 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.

  • Keener, B. R., A.R. Diamond, L. J. Davenport, P. G. Davison, S. L. Ginzbarg, C. J. Hansen, C. S. Major, D. D. Spaulding, J. K. Triplett, and M. Woods. 2016. Alabama Plant Atlas. [S.M. Landry and K.N. Campbell (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research. University of South Florida]. University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama. Online. Available: http://floraofalabama.org/Default.aspx

  • Krings, A. 2005. Abaxial foliar vestiture of Desmodium Desv. (Fabaceae) in North Carolina and vegetative recognition of the species. Vulpia 3:140-172.

  • Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 1183 pp.

  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

  • Schotz, Alfred. 2003. Status survey report on Desmodium ochroleucum, greamflower tick-trefoil, in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. A report prepared for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office, 6578 Dogwood Parkway, Jackson, MS; by Alabama Natural Heritage Program, Montgomery, AL, 36106 (November 15), 14 pp. + Appen. incl. maps.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

  • Steyermark, J.A. 1963. Flora of Missouri. Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames. 1728 pp.

  • Tatnall, R.R. 1946. Flora of Delaware and the Eastern Shore: an annotated list of the ferns and flowering plants of the peninsula of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Soc. Nat. Hist. Del. 313 pp.

  • Tyndall, R.W. and P. L. Groller. 2006. Transplant Survival, Reproductive Output, and Population Monitoring of Desmodium ochroleucum M.A. Curtis at Chicone Creek Woods in Maryland. Castanea 71:329-332.

  • Weakley, A. S. 2004. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia. Draft as of March 2004. UNC Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Available online: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm. Accessed 2004.

  • Weakley, A. S. 2006. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 17 January 2006. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2006).

  • Wunderlin, R.P. and B.F. Hansen. 2003. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. 2nd edition. University Press of Florida, Tampa. 788 pp.

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