tick-trefoil

tick trefoil

noun
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:
1855–60, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
tick trefoil
 
n
Also called: beggar-ticks 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 animals

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