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Desmodium varians


Desmodium variansslender ticktrefoil

Group:Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), Magnoliopsida (dicots), Fabales, Fabaceae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
Desmodium varians is a perennial leguminous herb, now known to be extant in Tasmania at only four sites, all on unreserved private land, with two in the Fingal Valley, one to the southeast of Ross and one at Pontville. The species occurs in native grassland or grassy shrubland, though prior to European settlement each of the sites is likely to have supported grassy eucalypt woodland. The species is at risk from mining, dam construction, weed invasion and heavy stock grazing, with a high risk of local extinctions due to the small size and fragmented character of most known sites. Weed control and grazing management would benefit known occurrences.

A full species management profile is currently unavailable for this species. Check the Further Information section on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.​​

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.


Key Survey reliability more info
M Best time to survey
M Potential time to survey
M Poor time to survey
M Non-survey period

To ensure you follow the law - check whether your survey requires a permit. Always report any new records to the Natural Values Atlas, or send the information direct to the Threatened Species Section. Refer to the Activity Advice: Surveying page for background information.

Desmodium varians Spring Summer Autumn Winter
slender ticktrefoil S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A
  • Most herbarium specimens of this perennial herb have been collected from late December to early April with flowering from spring through to autumn. While the species can be detected at any time of the year, surveys for Desmodium varians should ideally be timed to coincide with the peak fruiting period, January and February, when the identity of the species can be readily confirmed.
  • In Tasmania, Desmodium varians occurs in the east of the State, growing in native grassland, or open grassy shrubland or woodland, Themeda triandra and Poa labillardierei being the most prominent grasses it is associated with.

Helping the species

Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation






Changing water flow / quality

Use of chemicals


Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image)​.


​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​