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98   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

and to thresh it as soon as possible. The average crop is from four to five bushels to the acre.

Quality of seed: Crimson Clover seeds are much larger than those of Red Clover. They are egg-shaped, plump and shiny yellowish brown with an orange tint. The legal weight is sixty pounds per bushel.

RED CLOVER (Trifolium pratense L.)
Plate 18; Seed, Plate 27, Fig. 30.

Botanical description: Red Clover is mainly biennial. The year the seed germinates, only short leaves and stems are produced and no flowers. The second year the flowers are developed and the seed formed, and after ripening the seed the plant dies. As with most biennial plants, the root is a taproot; that is, the single main root gradually tapers downward and produces numerous side branches. On these are developed the small, rounded or egg-shaped nodules which contain the bacteria necessary for the proper development of the plant. From the upper end of the taproot, which is somewhat enlarged and generally known as the crown, are formed more or less numerous buds which develop into leafy stems. These as a rule are from one-half to two feet high, strictly upright or ascending from a decumbent base, the latter being the normal growth of stems developed from the outer margin of the crown. The stems are generally branched above the middle and the leaves are single at each joint. The three leaflets of which each leaf consists are oblong or egg-shaped and usually marked with a white spot of varying size and shape. The stipules (see page 15) attached to the base of the leaf stalk are triangular at the base and suddenly contracted into an awnlike point. This peculiar shape is a characteristic by which Red Clover can be readily distinguished from Zigzag Clover* (Trifolium medium L.), which it closely resembles and is often confused with. The stipules of Zigzag Clover are narrow throughout. The Red Clover flowers are in a dense head, which is about an inch in diameter when fully developed. They vary from bright red to purple but are sometimes white.

 

 

* Zigzag Clover, so-called after the zigzag bending of the stems, has much narrower leaves than has Red Clover. It is a perennial plant, common in Europe where it grows along borders of woods and in open woodlands. The so-called Simpson's Perennial Red Clover from Prince Edward Island and Couch Grass Clover from the Maritime Provinces are of this species.


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