March Conservation Corner
It’s no secret that Savannah has one of the biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world, which means that this time of year, everything turns green and is adorned with shamrocks. Growing up, I thought that clovers and shamrocks were synonymous, but it turns out that there are nearly 300 species of clovers worldwide!
The scientific name for clovers uses the genus Trifolium, meaning that there are three leaflets. However, there are some species of wood sorrel (Oxalis) that also have trifoliate leaves and are argued to be the true shamrock symbol of Ireland and Saint Patrick.
Aside from their claims of luck, clovers play an important role in both our ecosystem functions and agricultural processes. You may have seen clover honey on the shelves at your local market, as clovers are an attractive nectar source for honeybees and many other pollinators. The roots of some clover species host Rhizobium, a type of bacteria that “fixes” atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form for plant growth. These types of clovers often are planted as forage for livestock and to improve soil quality.
The next time you see a patch of clovers, I hope you see more than just luck, as clovers are a great resource for our pollinators, livestock, and soil fertility. But if you do want to take your chances at finding that four-leafed clover, pack your patience, because in 2019 the University of Florida determined the odds of finding such a clover as one in 5,076!
This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website. Visit landings.org to read the original article. https://landings.org/news/2020/02/20/march-conservation-corner