• WordNet 3.6
    • n Desmodium beggarweed; tick trefoil
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n desmodium A genus of leguminous plants, herbs or shrubs, with pinnately trifoliate (rarely simple) leaves, small flowers, and flat, deeply lobed and jointed pods. Each joint of the pod is one-seeded and usually covered with minute hooked hairs. There are about 125 species, tropical in Asia, and also extra-tropical in America, Africa, and Australia. The United States flora includes 35 species. The most remarkable member of the genus is an Indian species, D. gyrans, the telegraph-plant, so called from the spontaneous movement of its leaflets.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Desmodium des-mō′di-um a genus of leguminous plants to which the D. gyrans, or telegraph plant, belongs.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. desmos, chain, eidos, form.


In literature:

Hedysarum or Desmodium gyrans, the telegraph-plant.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
At 600 feet, {217a} Desmodium vestilum, Artemisia, Acanthacea lurida, Gentiana, as before.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Over by the wire fence the tick-trefoil, desmodium, is in its glory.
"Some Summer Days in Iowa" by Frederick John Lazell
Another plant Desmodium which has accompanied him in his world tour was filmed on the screen.
"Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose" by Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
The sensitive plants close their leaves when touched, and the leaflets of Desmodium gyrans are continually revolving.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
In most plant-movements some obviously useful purpose is subserved: this of Desmodium gyrans is a riddle.
"The Elements of Botany" by Asa Gray
Desmodiums, or Lespedezas, blooming in fall.
"The Practical Garden-Book" by C. E. Hunn