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White Clover

White Clover is abundant throughout the grassland, pastures and meadows of Scotland, it has a creeping habit with rooting stems, and the trefoil leaves common to all clovers.

The leaves have 3 oval and finely serrated leaflets each with a lighter green ‘new moon’ shape half way down each leaflet, like a white mark on a fingernail. Leaves are glabrous, or hairless and smooth.

white clover close up

white clover close up

 

Globular flower-heads carry 40 – 80 tiny flowers, each about 2-5mm long. Flowers of this family display the distinctive pea-flower shape though the two ‘wing’ or side petals are longer than the ‘keel’ or base petal. Each flower has 10 stamens.

The seed head stays within the calyx, producing one seed per flower.

White Clover, along with other members of the clover genus, has become one of the most important foraging species due to its nitrogen fixing properties which helps maintain soil health. Cattle cannot feed on clover alone though, as too much can cause bloating. It is usually mixed with other forage grasses.

It has anticestodal properties which are beneficial if you happen to have a tapeworm. The plant is used in Indian medicine for precisely this purpose.

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