Amazing variegated clover in the garden - varieties and features of cultivation
We all know clover as a "meadow porridge", very much loved by insects. For gardeners, clover is known as an effective green manure; landscape designers often sow it with cereals on the lawn, for beekeepers it is an excellent honey plant, a valuable forage crop for farmers. But few people know how amazing clover has become as a result of the work of breeders. Its multi-colored painted leaves deserve the most honorable place in the garden. But, unfortunately, the variegated clover is not yet known to a wide range of gardeners. We will urgently correct this situation!
Clover Creeping - Botanical Help
Creeping clover (Trifolium repens L.) is also known by the names: white clover, dutch clover, white porridge, or amoria creeping. The species is a creeping perennial herb from the legume family. White clover has a powerful core root, which dies at the end of the season and is replaced by a secondary, mainly shallow root system.
It develops from stolons - an elongated lateral shoot with an elongated internode with axillary buds. Stolons of white clover are creeping, 10-40 centimeters long. Rooting, they form young leaves and inflorescences. Clover blooms creeping capitate inflorescences up to 2 centimeters in diameter. They are formed at the ends of peduncles, which rise above the foliage by 5-10 centimeters. The inflorescence consists of 20-40 white or pinkish scented moth flowers. After pollination, linear sessile pods develop, containing 3-4 heart-shaped, smooth yellowish-brown seeds.
Leaves of white clover petiolate and tristroennye, can vary widely in shape and size. Their color in most cases is dull green, but even in the wild you can see some variations, for example, V-shaped light patterns or dark red blotches. This diversity allowed breeders to create many varieties of clover with multi-colored painted leaves.
Amazing Varieties of Creeping Clovers
Clover Creeping Atropurpurea (Atropurpurea) is very similar to the infamous carob acid. Many gardeners seduced by its charming appearance planted a plant in the garden. After which they bitterly regretted it. Unlike carob acid, this variety of creeping clover is not difficult to control, it does not become such a malicious weed.
The leaves of this variety are three-lobed dark purple with an expressive thin bright lime border at the edges of the leaf blade. This is a low creeping perennial with a height of only 15 centimeters. The variety blooms also quite unusual, since it has pinkish inflorescences. In shape, they, like that of species clover, are collected in capitate inflorescences and effectively contrast with dark-colored foliage. Flowering time - June-July.
Clover Creeping Dragon Blood
Clover Creeping Dragon Blood (Dragons blood) Is one of the brightest colored varieties. Its small tristro sheets combine three colors at once. The main part of the leaf is occupied by a bluish-white field, closer to the petiole the leaves are green, while bright burgundy-red stains pass through the entire leaf blade.
It is thanks to the picturesque red strokes that are vaguely reminiscent of blood splatter, the variety got its exotic name. The height of the bushes is not higher than 15 centimeters, the nature of the growth is creeping. Incomplete inflorescences also look three-colored, the buds are green, the flowers are white and pink. It blooms in June and July.
Clover Creeping Green Ice
Clover Creeping Green Ice (Green ice) - the “coldest" clover variety. The name of the cultivar is translated as "green ice" and well reflects the characteristics of the color of the plant. The leaves of this clover are greenish-white, and at the base become bright green. Colors sharply change one into another, and such a game of white and green gives the impression that the lawn of clover is effectively covered with hoarfrost.
The plant can reach 30 centimeters, but the growth is well regulated by cutting, the flowers are white or slightly pinkish. It blooms from June to autumn.
Clover Creeping Isabella
Clover Creeping Isabella (Isabella) has creeping bushes only 15 centimeters high, their width is more than 50 centimeters, and over time, the curtains grow wider and wider. The color of the leaves is purple-red with green. Most of the leaves are painted in purple or raspberry tones, and bright green is represented only by small narrow sectors at the base of the tristroium leaves. The color of the flowers, which are also collected in capitate inflorescences, is pink. Flowering period: June-July.
Clover Creeping "William"
Clover Creeping "William" (William) reaches a height of 10-25 centimeters and covers an area of 1 square meter 2-5 years after planting. This variety has the brightest of all existing cultivars, richly colored inflorescences. They have a very deep reddish-violet color.
The foliage of this variety can also be called unique, because it changes colors during the season. In spring, leaves are light green with a burgundy hue, turn green in summer, maintaining a small bronze tint, and in the autumn maroon areas appear on them.
Clover Creeping "Leonora"
Clover Creeping "Leonora" (Leonore) has some similarities with the Green Ice variety, but it cannot be called as strict and cold. On the leaves of this clover, a bright transition from a small grassy-green field at the base of three leaves through a pattern in the form of red tongues of flame to an almost white wide border in the color of a sea wave is clearly visible. Among its brethren, the Leonora variety stands out for its lighter coloration and original leaf pattern.
It is widely known that clover with four leaves instead of the traditional three is a symbol of great luck. In fact, a four-lobed clover leaf is a fairly common mutation, and it can be passed on to offspring. Given the tendency of many people to believe in happy signs, breeders have created varieties of white clover, which have a significant proportion of foliage with four or more blades.
They are especially popular in Ireland and sold in pots for St. Patrick's Day to become live presents. Among the four-leafed leaves there is a variety with purple foliage ‘Purpurascens Quadrifolium’, as well as a variety with green leaves - creeping clover ‘Quadrifolium’.
Clover Creeping - Features of Growing
Clover is a typical plant of meadows of the middle strip, therefore it is absolutely winter-hardy and unpretentious perennial that does not require special care. The only important condition is that variegated varieties require a lot of sun in order to show their color as bright as possible. Although species plants can tolerate light penumbra.
Clover is unpretentious to soils and, as you know, it enriches the soil with nitrogen. Although the plant prefers calcareous clay soils, it is also suitable for sandy loams and even grows on very heavy soils. Regarding the pH level, it can be acidic soils, and neutral, and even very alkaline. Clover loves moist soils, so watering is necessary during the dry season. However, he also needs good drainage, since the plant does not like stagnant hydration.
Unfortunately, currently variegated varieties of creeping clover are not very common in Russia and it is not easy to find in nurseries. Nevertheless, in individual garden centers and online stores, you can find planting material for certain varieties of this curiosity.
Creeping clover is easy to grow from seeds, but it’s almost impossible to buy seeds of variegated clover from us. The main method of propagation for the culture is vegetative, since clover is easily propagated by dividing the bush and cuttings (stolons).
Variegated Clover in Garden Design
In garden design, clover is mainly used as a groundcover. It can be planted in the foreground of the flower garden, between deciduous shrubs and is especially effective when framing low conifers or shrubs.
In addition, creeping varieties are magnificent in balcony drawers and hanging baskets solo or in combination with popular annual flowers. In the latter case, clover behaves like an ampel, and grows and begins to hang down, decorating the edge of the container. Compositions using clover are placed closer to eye level so that you can easily see the amazing patterns on their small leaves.
Also from varieties of clover creeping you can create original colorful lawns and lawns. The beauty of this clover does not depend on the flowering period, and it does not lose decorativeness throughout the warm season, delighting with variegated foliage. At the same time, clover foliage withstands significant cooling (up to minus 10 degrees) and will adorn the garden until late autumn, and often part of winter. Sometimes in the middle of summer, a haircut is used to rejuvenate the foliage and make the clover mat more squat.
Like its wild relative, the creeping varietal clover grows well and is able to quickly cover the territories allotted to it with a carpet. Nevertheless, it does not become a malicious weed, and it is easy to control by cutting the side shoots, or dig in the boundary tape immediately after planting. And yet, due to its vigorous growth, do not plant clover next to slowly growing plants (for example, small alpine perennials). Clover gives self-seeding, but this can be avoided by preventing the plant from forming seeds.
White clover is not only very beautiful, it is an excellent green manure and pollinator magnet, in addition, it provides effective protection against soil erosion, since its stolons spread along the surface of the earth, and increase the penetration of water into the soil.