www.zinnysworld.com    Copyright 2000-2015 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved. Beggar Ticks Desmodium incanum

Beggar Ticks, also known as Creeping Beggarweed, is a non-native perennial member of the legume family.  It is native to Central and South America, and the Caribbean.  It was introduced into the United States and currently found in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

This plant grows to a height of about 12-16 inches.  It has many runners capable of rooting at nodes along the stem.  Alternate compound leaves are found along the lower portion of the stem.  These leaves have three elliptical leaflets about 1-4 inches long.  The upper surface of the leaflets is dark green in color with a pale streak along the mid vein.

Small pinkish purple, bean-like flowers are found along the upper portion of the stem.  These flowers are quite small, averaging about 1/4-inch long.  Each flower has a standard petal, two lateral wing petals, and two lower keel petals.  These flowers give rise to small segmented seed pods about 1-1.5 inches long.  These pods can break apart with each segment covered with small barbed hairs that catch onto fur or clothing.  This plant is usually regarded as a pest because of the seeds clinging to clothing.

The pictures on this page were taken in Deep Creek located in Charlotte County.

The distribution maps for Beggar Ticks are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).