Sunday, September 28, 2008

100 Species Challenge -- Species #22

Specimen #22 Red Clover

Trifolium pratense (Latin three + leaves)

I took this picture at Margo Frankel Woods, but this plant is everywhere. Except not sideways. Darn you blogspot! I even looked in the Help Center. I think the rotating thing probably works well with pictures of people, not plants. While I suppose a computer sees the flower in the center of my picture as a person's head, I'm not doing people.

GAIN Academy always wonders why "red" is the name when it is obviously "purple."

Clovers are popular for many reasons. They are famous for teaching children about the Trinity, commonplace enough to be a term for highway ramps, and then there is the 'lucky four leaf clover.' Note the white chevron on the leaf.

Somewhere as a young child, I learned that if you pull the florets out, you can suck the sweet nectar from them. It's a special thing. It is the state flower of Vermont, and the U Maryland Medical Center has a lot to say about the flower here.

According to "Native Americans have been known to eat red clover in salads, and dried flowers can be dried and turned into flour that can be used in breads, muffins or pancakes." The entire plant, leaves, roots, stems, and flowers are all edible. In my research, I found suggestions to, among many other things: press the florets into icing on cakes, sprinkle florets in beverages, make an iced tea with the flowers, and use the leaves in salads.

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