Birdsfoot Clover: a parking find



This is a flower I never new existed until I bought a book of wildlife walks in Dorset which describes several walks and provides a species list for each. Looking at the walk at Abbotsbury I saw, along with four other species I had never seen, the birdsfoot clover (Trifolium ornithopodiodes). Not surprisingly, perhaps, at the first opportunity I was there looking for it!
Birdsfoot clover is a low, prostrate plant sprawling across the ground; It likes dry, bare, sandy places that are wet in winter yet parched in summer. Usually found near the sea, mainly along the southern coasts of England and in to Wales, it has a particular fondness for car parking areas (obviously not tar-maced ones!). I do not think it is common anywhere. There are two forms, white and pink, and my specimen was going over when I found it but I think it was probably the white variant. It flowers in June and July and then goes to seed with the seed heads vaguely resembling bird's feet so hence the name. It is also known as fenugreek.
The leaves are edible but you would need a lot of hem to make a meal! It does not seem to be of particular interest as a herbal remedy for anything.
Birdsfoot Clover: a parking find

Popular posts from this blog

Pelvetia canaliculata: the channelled wrack

Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica)