Trifolium pratense

The photo workshop is over, and it’s time to get back to work-work. I don’t have any photographs to share on BPotD from the workshop, as our assignments didn’t align well with plant photographs. But, when I successfully apply some of the principles learned to my plant or garden photos, I’ll make mention of it.

Taisha had a good break from me, and she starts the week with this entry she wrote:

For today, I’m highlighting a photo of Trifolium pratense or red clover. With today being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would try and find a photograph of what is considered the traditional shamrock, Trifolium dubium. However, I wasn’t successful, so instead I offer this three-leaved alternative. Thank you Anne Elliot (aka annkelliott@Flickr) for uploading this to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Much appreciated!

The shamrock is symbol that many associate with St. Patrick’s Day. According to folklore, the shamrock was used by St. Patrick to explain the Christian holy trinity to the pagan Irish. In present times, wearing a shamrock on March 17 is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition (link requires registration on National Geographic site). This practice dates back to the 17th century.

Trifolium pratense is a leguminous perennial native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It is now distributed globally in temperate regions because of its usefulness in agriculture–it is generally excellent for livestock and poultry as food (either grown as a forage crop in pastures or used in hay and silage). Red clover is also commonly planted for green manure and as a rotational cover crop because of its ability to fix nitrogen by means of a symbiotic relationship (PDF) with Rhizobium spp., a group of soil bacteria species that reside within the root nodules.

Trifolium pratense

5 responses to “Trifolium pratense”

  1. Jacqueline Jackson

    I always enjoy the pictures and writeups, though I’m not a botanst or even a gardener. Taisha, I do enjoy your writing and style. How great for you to be an intern at that grand place, with good mentors. I’ve written a lot of books, the last bunch on farming. On our farm we had red clover, and were pioneers in alfalfa in Wisconsin. Had alfalfa parties in 1914 and 1915. My daughter #3 put me onto this site, she’s the farmer. And you’ve published some photos by my niece in law’s flower pix–Jacki Dougan. She’s a flower gardener in Oregon. So look up my books if you want good reading about things that grow. wwwroundbarnstories. It’s not a memoir, but I’m in it, in 3rd person, when I’m involved in one of the stories or accounts. My niece married my name, but she spells it differently. This note is from Jackie Dougan Jackson.

  2. jessica

    Beautiful. Thanks so much.

  3. Old Ari

    I have noticed in the last few years that there are a lot of hybrids of red/white clover, some quite extrreme.

  4. brian

    Hi,
    you may enjoy this article about shamrock:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/st-patricks-day-the-legend-of-the-shamrock-470188.html
    …seems that quite a lot of the seed used to produce it comes from Canada !
    thanks,
    brian

  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Dr. Richard Old, of XID Services (weed identification), was kind enough to send along a photo of Trifolium dubium (the traditional shamrock):

Leave a Reply