One wildflower I love seeing in my yard is Desmodium, also known as Tick Tre-foil or Beggar Lice. Nice nicknames, huh?
There are many different species of Desmodium. Many people consider them to be a weed, but I rather like the airy look of the ones in my garden.
Beggar Lice are a part of the pea family, clearly evidenced by their seed pods.
The seed pods are what give Beggar Lice a bad rap - I'm sure many of you have gone for a walk in the woods and found these seedpods stuck to your clothing afterwards. (I'm assuming this talent for 'begging' a ride is the inspiration behind that particular nickname.) The little hooked hairs on these seeds stick impressively well to anything that brushes against them.
Beggar Lice are important to wildlife as a source of food for animals such as the White-tailed Deer and Northern Bobwhite. They are also host plants for several types of butterflies.
|Long-tailed Skipper laying eggs on Desmodium leaf|
It's rather fun to hunt for caterpillars on my Beggar Lice plants. If I see a rolled leaf or two leaves stuck together, I know something is probably inside..
It's like a little treasure hunt.
|Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar|
Though it seems slightly dangerous somehow, doesn't it? Who knows what might be inside!
|Anyone know what this is?|
Next time I shall post about my latest project in the garden. My computer has been rather neglected lately with the beautiful weather beckoning me into the garden. I'm enjoying it while it lasts!
As always, happy gardening!
linking with Wildflower Wednesday