August 16, 2017

Lucky Charm

Trifolium arvense - Rabbit-foot clover, Haresfoot clover,  or Stone clover | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Trifolium arvense – Rabbit-foot clover, Haresfoot clover, or Stone clover | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Sporting the fuzziest of appearances is the aptly named rabbit-foot clover, a species not native to Maine, although it is well-established across much of the United States and Canada. Trifolium arvense is of Eurasian origins, found in most of Europe and western Asia. As a legume, the plant is a nitrogen fixer, improving low-fertility soil for other species. It is usually found in disturbed landscapes or wastelands, meadows, edges of fields and sides of roads, growing 6 to 14 inches tall and blooming throughout the summer. The fluffy flowerheads are actually dangerous to some livestock. According to the Weedy Wildflowers of Illinois site, horses and other livestock can become ill because the clover can cause abdominal obstruction.

Wild Wednesday is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Glen Mittelhauser of the nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory, www.mainenaturalhistory.org.

In 2012, Glen began working to catalog the plants of Baxter State Park, which you can read about here and find out how to sponsor a plant of your own. Courtesy of a poll taken in 2012, Garden Maine is sponsoring this lovely plant.