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FutureStarrPurple Clover Flower
Purple Clover Flower is one of our hobbies. It’s a wildflower. It looks different every year. It’s tall and sprawls in random directions. It blooms in different shades of purple, white, green, and yellow. It has small, delicate petals. It likes to grow in open, damp spaces and in our front lawn. It’s beautiful and delicate and wild.The common name for Trifolium pratense, Red Clover, can be confusing as the flowers are more a pink to pink/purplish, not a true red. It is grown as a forage crop for pasturage, hay and green manure for livestock. It is a nitrogen-fixing plant and is often grown as a cover crop to improve soil fertility. Its native habitat includes fields, pastures, meadows, waste areas, and along roadsides. It can be found in grassy locations that are not regularly mowed.Its flowers have a honey-like fragrance. The foliage can produce a pleasant clover-like scent.
Buffalo clover (T. reflexum) is a native widely scattered statewide, though absent from most of the Bootheel lowlands and much of the western portion of northern Missouri. It is an annual or biennial growing from a taproot. The stem is usually unbranched at the base and is loosely to strongly ascending. The flower heads are about ¾–1½ inches in diameter, with 10–40 florets per head. The petals are usually white to cream-colored but are occasionally deep pink or pinkish-tinged, turning brown at maturity. The stalks of the florets bend over at maturity, giving the entire head a crowned appearance once the florets are spent. Blooms May–August.Crimson clover, or Italian clover (T. incarnatum), is an introduced European species that is widely scattered in the southern half of Missouri, in pastures, roadsides, and other open, disturbed areas. It’s a taprooted annual.
The flower heads are oval or cylindrical, about ¾ inch wide and becoming about 2½ inches long with age, with usually more than 150 florets per head. In our state, this species is distinctly red and not pink. Blooms April–July.Red clover is grown in more areas of the world than any other species of Trifolium. It has been in cultivation since the third and fourth centuries, probably beginning in Spain, whence it spread to Holland and Lombardy, Italy, and then to Germany. It was introduced into England about 1645, and the English brought it to the New World by 1663. Bumblebees and other bees with long tongues visit the flowers for nectar and pollen. A wide variety of butterflies and moths visit the flowers, too. Plenty of other insects consume the foliage, including butterfly and moth caterpillars (including the orange, clouded, cloudless, and southern dogface sulphurs, the eastern tailed-blue, and the clover looper). Certain types of leaf beetles, weevils, stinkbugs, aphids, treehoppers, and grasshoppers also make a living from red clover. (Source: mdc.mo.gov)