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What Is This Delicate Vine With Small Pinkish-Purple Bloom?

Ask the Expert: Can you identify this blooming vine?

Beggers Lice

Beggers Lice

I saw this vine a few days ago in wooded area next to gravel road.



Vine seems to be at least 4 feet tall, blooms are sparse, blooms late July-early August. Leaves are 3 in cluster. Thanks. Debbie

Plant Expert Reply:

It looks similar to a sweet pea but I don’t think it is. I am investigating
a few possiblities. Is this plant crawling on the ground or more up right.
What state did you find it in – this will help me narrow down the choices.


  1. It was twining upward, not trailing on the ground. It was healthy looking, not sure what you meant by state. I don’t think that area gets a lot of sun, but it does get a little as it’s close to an ATV trail, we’re in eastern central Arkansas if that helps. I did notice today that there only seemed to be a couple of spots that had the vine. So it’s not abundant like the poison ivy or muscadine vines here.
    If you have any more questions, I’ll try to answer them the best that I can. Thanks.

  2. I am still trying to make a positive id. Bloom looks similar to a vetch ort sweet pea but the floiage doesn’t. I want to know which state meaning Arkansas, becuase sometimes that narrows the search. I have contact someone I know at the Arkansas State Extension Dept. I am hoping that she will be able to help. I’ll keep trying

  3. Thank you. I’m beginning to think maybe it wasn’t wild, that someone threw seeds out, maybe. Or it was an old home place. It didn’t LOOK as if it had been a home place, because it was very grown up there, plenty of weeds. The vine was the only thing blooming, which made it so noticeable. Trumpet vine and honeysuckle bloom well here as well. We’re in Arkansas County to be exact, the spot was about 1/4 mile from a bayou also. Hope that helps. Thanks for trying so hard. Maybe we’ll both learn something new on this venture. ha!

  4. I believe we finally have an identification of this vine. I mailed my friend Janet Carson at the Arkansas Extension Service the picture. She believes the plant is called Beggers Lice (Desmodium sp.) which are native in Arkansas as well as Connecticut, Deleware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and in Canada (MB, NB, NS, ON, QC). In some places they are considered a weed and in others a wild flower.

  5. Thank you very much. I do appreciate your identifying it and look forward to seeing more beautiful plants on your site. Thanks again for taking the time to research this. Have a great day! God Bless. Debbie