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Haresfoot Clover

Found in sandy fields, grassland and dunes, mainly near the coastal regions of Southern Scotland and the Moray Firth area, this slender short-lived annual has the appearance of a miniature bottle brush.

Attractive pink and softly hairy flower heads give the plant its name. Each tiny flower in the flower head has thin sepals that project longer than the flowers, and end in bristly hairs. The sepals almost completely hide the flowers, which are only 4mm long. The flowers form a cylindrical structure about 25mm in height at the top of branching stems.

Each flower has 10 stamens and produces a single egg-shaped fruit pod carrying a single egg-shaped seed.

Leaves and stems are hairy, and the leaflets, trifoliate and narrow. Though grey-green in colour the leaves can take on a reddish tinge in long hot summers.

Haresfoot Clover also goes by the names Rabbitfoot Clover and Stone Clover, the latter due to its habit of appearing in rocky outcrops. It is valued by farmers for its nitrogen-fixing properties and its ability to propagate on and enrich poor soils.

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