- any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Desmodium, of the legume family, having trifoliolate leaves and jointed pods with hooked hairs by which they adhere to objects.
Origin of tick trefoil
An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tick trefoil
Over by the wire fence the tick-trefoil, desmodium, is in its glory.
Now he reaches the tick-trefoil, and nips out some stamens from its purple blossoms, which he eats with relish.
- any of various tropical and subtropical leguminous plants of the genus Desmodium, having trifoliate leaves, clusters of small purplish or white flowers, and sticky jointed seed pods, which separate into segments that cling to animalsAlso called: beggar-ticks