|BIRD'SFOOT TREFOIL:RATHER PRETTY IN A LAWN...|
Thursday, 8:00 AM. 51 degrees F at the ferry dock, 51 on the back porch. Wind NW, gale force. It rained most of yesterday afternoon and evening, at times torrential, as a strong front blew through. Skies are mostly still cloudy and overcast, the humidity 100%. The barometer is rising steeply, now at 29.52". Today will be overcast with highs around 60. Cool weather will continue, with mixed skies and chances of rain until the middle of next week, when it will warm some and clear up.
|A FRONT BLOWS THROUGH FROM THE NORTHWEST|
Birds' foot trefoil, Lotus comutatis, in the Pea Family, is an ubiquitous roadside plant of Eurasian origin. It gets its common name trefoil from its compound three-leaflet leaves, and the "bird'sfoot" from the appearance of its ripening seeds while still attached to the plant. It is a legume, and as such fixes nitrogen and improves the fertility of the soil, thus can grow in poor soils where most plants can not. In fact, it has been commonly used as a forage plant where soils are too poor for alfalfa in northern climates.
Bird'sfoot trefoil is quite beautiful along roadsides and in pastures, and unfortunately also in lawns, where it can withstand mowing and bluegrass purists can't tolerate it. It blooms all summer long in the far north.
Bird's foot trefoil is listed in Wisconsin and elsewhere as an invasive and noxious weed, although it was introduced as a forage crop. Since bird's foot trefoil is ubiquitous, fixes nitrogen, is a good forage crop and is quite attractive, what makes it a noxious weed, and is it worth trying to eradicate it? I can't answer that one.You will have to ask the folks in the DNR who make up such rules.