Big Head Clover - Trifolium macrocephalum

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Hatchett
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-05-06

Thanks for the kind comments. I have to admit that I have not kept up with the status of this plant. There may be more plants in Idaho than I thought though I did look at most of the areas where I thought it might be, thanks to google earth. Two years ago I went to collect some seed from the population that I know of. I had found earlier in the season that there were plenty of plants in flower and expected good seed set. I was disappointed to find on my return that all but one of the plants had been mowed down by grazing and only located one plant that was missed and was with seed--- I left it alone. Unfortunately these plants are heavily impacted by severe overgrazing and trampling by livestock. Oddly the Idaho penstemon, Pentstemon idahoensis occurs in a very similar ash layer in the Goose creek drainage(a couple hundred miles southeast of here) and suffers from the same problem. I hope at least my plants will have good seed set this season.
Jim 

Jim Hatchett
Eagle, Idaho Zone 3?
Elevation  2600', Annual precipitation 11" avg.

Against boredom even the gods struggle in vain"
Friedrich Nietzsche

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Jim
What method do you use to separate the seed from the heads? When I collect seed from Trifolium andersonii, I find it a time consuming task. I  rub the heads of between gloved hands pulverizing it as much as I can. Then sift out the fine chaff and run a pinch at a time through my finger tips to find the hard membrane sheathed seed. At this point I can rub the membrane off each seed.
It takes a lot time to collect enough seed to send to the exchange. Just thought you may have a better way.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Merlin
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-24

Been off the forums for quite a while now so i am just getting back engaged. i have not found a better way than you have. in the case of the plants in my garden it seems that the pollinators are not efficient for this plant so i have to go through a good bit of chaff to find even a few viable seeds. Here is a better picture of one of my colonies of this plant. 

Jim Hatchett, Eagle Idaho USA  Zone 5? 11" average annual precipitation

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Jim

That is a nice patch and let me say again how much I like it's intense rich coloration. Here are a couple of photos from the Trifolium macrocephalum I am finally getting established in my garden you can see how much softer the coloration is.

Trifolium macrocephalum
Trifolium macrocephalum

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Merlin
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-24

Those look pretty nice. I think the trick to keeping this plant happy is to let it get real dry when it dies back in summer. Like so many great basin species even a little soil moisture during summer dormancy can cause permanent dormancy.

Jim Hatchett, Eagle Idaho USA  Zone 5? 11" average annual precipitation

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