Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Weeds or Beneficials?

Well never wrote a blog before so bear with my ramblings, with this COVID-19 going on I have had plenty of time to roam around my yard appreciating its beauty.  However, upon closer inspection, I was amazed to discover how many weeds were mixed in with my flowers and ground cover. Boy, they grew fast with all the rain we have had.  So, since I failed a plant identification class on numerous occasions, I could not tell where my plants ended, and the weeds began.  Well, I saw that a white flower with green leaves was growing among my Dichondra and taking it over.  I allowed it to grow originally thinking it was a flowering plant that must have started due to a bird dropping a seed.  Just a note, there are tons of plant identification applications, and most do not tell you if something is considered a weed.  For that, you must do some research via the UC IPM weed gallery.  Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case maybe it has been relegated to the weed category because it grows quickly and profusely.   However, as with most weeds, one must look closer to see its benefits.

I discovered that it was White Clover (Trifolium repens), which when researching I learned was previously essential in maintaining lawns because it helps to transform the nitrogen in the soil into organic compounds that nourish plants thus reducing the need for artificial fertilizers.  White Clover (also known as Dutch Clover) is a perennial legume of the Mediterranean origin, and are therefore edible, and has some medicinal uses i.e. purifying and cleaning the blood, teas made from the blossoms can be used as an eyewash and the leaves can be made into a salve for gout. As a natural living mulch, it is considered beneficial due to the nectar found in its flower which is a favorite of bees, butterflies and beneficial insects.  However, the best benefit of all is its luck, finding a four-leaf clover is a very rare variation of the common three-leaf clover.  The leaves are said to stand for faith, hope, and love and a fourth leaf if found means luck.  Since Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than anywhere else it gives meaning to the phrase “Luck of the Irish”. So maybe you will be lucky and find one.

white clover
white clover

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 3:16 PM

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