Thursday, May 22, 2008

White Fields of Clover

I took these pictures of my back yard last week. Clover and dandelions bring back childhood memories. We made clover necklaces, blew wishes on a dandelion, or sit on the porch steps playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors".

I googled White Clover and this is what I found. Here are just some facts to read about the lowly clover, if you have the time or need to know.

Trifolium repens is broken down into Tri, which means "3", folium, which means leaves, and repens, a name applied to "creeping plants with rooting stems".
White clover flowers, leaves, stems, seeds, and buds feed deer, birds, small mammals, livestock, and insects. It is a favorite of ducks. Bees pollinate the flowers as they feed among the clover blossoms.
Native Americans ate whole clover as a salad green and used the flower heads to make teas as remedies for coughs and colds. Folk medicine prescribed white clover remedies for a variety of ailments, from gout and rheumatism to gastrointestinal distress. Folklore held that white clover (and all clovers) were lucky because anyone with a clover leaf in his pocket could detect witches, sorcerers, and good fairies. Christians saw its three-lobed leaves as representing the Trinity.
Agriculturally, white clover can be incorporated into hay or silage crops for livestock and poultry. White clover seed is part of many pasture and forage seed mixtures. However, cattle grazing lush stands composed of only white clover may suffer bloat. As a legume, white clover harbors nitrogen-fixing bacteria in nodules on its roots, improving the soil on which it grows. White clover may also be planted as a cover crop to stabilize bare soils. Soil covered with white clover has been shown to allow more rainfall to soak in than soil covered with grass.
People can eat white clover, using the seeds and dried flowers in bread and the flower heads in teas. We also use white clover honey, thanks to the bees.
White clover was introduced to North America from the eastern Mediterranean region of Europe. This is the species which children examine to search for the elusive 4-leaf clover


Anonymous said...

Wow I never knew there was so much to know about clover. Brings back a lot of memories of my child hood. love the pictures.*

Pat said...

Gorgeous photos! Making the clover bracelets and necklaces was so much fun - still is. I made one last summer at Mom's. Good memories.