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I have a plant I have finally identified as being 'Beggars Lice' or 'Tick Trefoil'. Never seen it before in my life, and don't know how to look after it. It has marvellous wafty stems that in late summer have sprays of shocking pink flowers at the ends, but do I cut it back? Does it flower on old stems? Anyone got any ideas?

On plant desmodium paniculatum




Never heard of this one so looked it up for you:

Although the plants will die down to ground level and need to be pruned back over winter they are perfectly hardy. The seed pods are 2-3in long and pea like but they are jointed into six or eight separate sections in the pod.

D. elegans grows best in full sun in a well drained or dry position. They grow well alongside a warm wall.

Seeds, when the pods are ripe, can be sown straight away in containers in a cold frame. Early season softwood cuttings are best.

Reaches 4 feet or more. Comes from the Himlayas

28 Nov, 2017


Well that's brilliant, thank you. So I should chop the stems back. All I found when googling was that it seems to grow wild in north America, but nothing about having it in your garden. I was looking for desmodium paniculatum rather than elegans, but the photos that come up for elegans seem to be right. And 'elegans' so much more acceptable for a pretty plant than beggars lice!

29 Nov, 2017


It certainly is!
I just looked up paniculatum and it does look a lot less attractive.

29 Nov, 2017

How do I say thanks?

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