Feb. 10, 2021

hop clover, Trifolium aureum

Hop clover is a small annual that is an early pioneer in disturbed and depleted soils. Clovers, of course, and known as nectar plants, and hence as a source of honey. Nectar production is the last trait of knotweed that indicates it was once more dependent on cross fertilization. Finding all of the traits we've mentioned in the last few days - cleistogamy, chasmogamy, heterostyly, protandry, and nectar production - in a single species is unusual. Finding them all in a species that now mostly inbreeds is even more unusual. Apparently after all those efforts, it acquires just enough pollen from outside sources to keep the gene pool healthy. Hop clover grows in AK, CA, CT, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, AB, BC, LB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, and on SPM. Marquette Co MI, 7/12/11. Bean family, Fabaceae.