Zig-zag Clover

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 5 July 2010 18:34

I've been botanising in Badlands meadows today, slow progress with a bad back. It looks so different to last year, there are so many more herbs compared to graminoids this time. The cold winter and dry/hot spring and summer have had a profound impact on the sward structure and composition, in many sites too, not just here. I noticed that the quadrats I did this year although having the same species, these species were appearing at wildly different covers. Sharp-flowered Rush, dominant over a large part of the reserve last year, has been knocked back to a fraction of its range and density. The herbs are looking fantastic, Dyer's Greenweed, Betony and Zig-zag Clover, all 'old meadow' species cover the meadows. The bottom photo shows a large patch of Dyer's Greenweed with a few flowers of Betony. I thought I would take the time to look more closely at Zig-zag Clover. The leaves are a giveaway, they are quite large, neat, stiff and pointed compared to Red Clover. They also have a pale edge and strongly visible veins. The flower heads are a little different in structure and a little larger. The real clincher though are the large green pointy bracts, quite a lot paler and narrower than those on Red Clover.

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