Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rabbit-foot Clover

I walk by bits of this little one on the main road of my walks. With no sidewalks and cars zipping by at 50mph, I am leery of stooping down to photograph. So lucky I am! I found a huge patch in a nice quiet spot. Rabbit-foot Clover, Trifdlium arvense, is also know as Stone Clover or Pussy Clover.

From A Manual of Weeds:

"Stone Clover usually grows and is able to thrive on very dry, sandy, and gravelly soils, and it is a pity that it is not a better fodder plant. But its excessive hairiness causes cattle to dislike it and even makes it dangerous, particularly when eaten by horses, as the fuzzy flower-heads sometimes collect into felt-like, compact masses called phytobezoars, or hair-balls, closing the intestines and occasionally causing a very distressful form of death.

Stem six inches to a foot high, erect slender, much branched, covered with fine, silky, gray hair. leaves alternate palmately three-foliolate, with short petioles and narrow, awl-shaped stipules; leaflets narrowly oblong or wedge-shaped, about an inch in length, obtuse or often notched at the tips. Flowers in dense, nearly cylindrical heads, a half-inch to an inch long, on slender, terminal peduncles; corolla white or pinkish but hidden by the calyx-lobes, which extend far beyond it in five slender, awl-like points, thickly fringed with silky gray or pale reddish hairs. Pods very tiny, containing one or two seeds which are a frequent impurity of other clover seeds and of grasses and grain."

Georgia, Ada Eljiva. A Manual of Weeds. New York, 1919. 230. Web. Google Book Search. 31 Jul 2009.

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