West Indies, South Florida, likely elsewhere in the American tropics but range of this taxon unclear due to taxonomic lumping and splitting.
Map of select IRC data for peninsular Florida
SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence:
SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status:
SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status:
The FISF and IRC have long considered that there were two forms of what has been treated as Desmodium incanum
in South Florida, one native and one perhaps introduced. While most plants grow as weeds, with elliptic leaves that are often variegated, other individuals with larger, ovate leaves with acute tips have been observed in undisturbed pine rocklands and rockland hammock ecotones in Miami-Dade County. Franck et al. (in prep.) have determined that the weedy plants are likely Desmodium mauritianum
, introduced from the Old World, a taxon that is often placed into synonymy under Desmodium incanum
(see e.g. GFIF 2022
). Desmodium incanum
, in the narrow sense, has been documented in the United States only in Miami-Dade County, Florida south of the Miami River, and once along the Snake Bight Trial in Everglades National Park in the southeasternmost Monroe County mainland. Plants grow in a variety of calcareous habitats, including pine rocklands, edges of rockland hammocks, marl prairies, and open coastal berms. One of the best populations can be observed at the Florida International University Environmental Preserve. We are currently editing data between the two species, and more Desmodium incanum
records will be added.