All along our roadsides, a beautiful pink plant is now blooming. It’s red clover, a lovely and versatile member of the bean family.
Red clover is a short-lived perennial and can grow to heights of nearly three feet. Many of the plants I saw while heading to the Shenandoah Valley last weekend were pushing two feet and they were beautiful.
Red clover is not native to America, but has thrived here in the states. Many farmers plant it for hay or to turn under as an organic fertilizer. But as the wind scatters clover seeds, it blossoms and thrives as a wild plant.
All pollinators are attracted to red clover, especially bumble bees. Hummingbirds also enjoy a sip or two of sweet nectar from the pretty pink blooms.
Red clover also has value as a food plant and for medicinal uses. The flowers are entirely edible and make an attractive garnish. Extracted oils from clover are used in aromatherapy. It’s high nitrogen content increases soil fertility and cows love grazing in a field with clover.
In holistic medicine, clover is often used as a treatment for coughs, lymphatic disorders, some cancers and as a relief during menopause.
Red clover is a certainly a most interesting and most beautiful plant that often grows wild along our highways.