August 21, 2017

Do the Hop

Trifolium campestre - Hop Trefoil or Low Hop Clover | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Trifolium campestre – Hop Trefoil or Low Hop Clover | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Trifolium campestre is a non-native species from Eurasia considered an important clover in agriculture here in the United States, with foliage good for livestock and its ability as a legume to fix nitrogen in poor soils. Known as hop clover, the bright yellow flower resembles the bloom of a hop with its spherical shape and cluster of 20 to 40 individual flowers that turn brown as they age, staying on the plant. T. campestre can grow up to a foot tall and sets a taproot, although it spreads by seed. Campestre translates to “of the fields,” which is the source of another common name: field clover.

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.