CLOVER. Trifolium. Of the true clovers. the principal varieties are, the Common Meadow clover; Mammoth, sometimes called Grape vine clover; Medium clover or Zigzag clover; Alsike clover or Swedish clover, and White or Dutch clover. Other varieties of inferior merit,. or else worthless, are Stone clover or Rabbit-foot, (T arvense); Buffalo clover, (T reflexum); and_ its near relative, with its creeping runners, Run ning Buffalo clover, (T. stoloniferum); Yellow or Hop clover, (T. agrarium); Low Hop clover, (T proeumbens). Some varieties of Melilotus are also sometimes designated as clover, as the Tree or Bokhara clover, White-flowered Melilotus; also the Yellow-flowered variety. Among the varieties of Medieago, sometirnes denominated. clover, are the Alfalfa, (AL sativa) of the Spanish, or Lucerne of the French, a most valuable plant in dry soils where it will withstand the winter, also Black Medick, or Hop-like Medick, lupulina). Of all these, the red clovers, in com mon cultivation, Alsike.clOver, White or Dutch. clover and Lucerne have been found generally valuable. Bokhara clover, so-called, and the other species mentioned, may be set down as of but little or no value for general cultivation_ Two varieties of the clover family, Lespedeza striata or Japan clover, and Richardsonia seabra or _Mexican clover, lately introduced into the southern portion of the United States, have proved of value. We give illustrations of these, and their description will follow further on. The clovers belong to the great pulse family, a family containing many plants most valuable to man. Of all the varieties, the Red clover, or Meadow Trifolium, is the most valuable in the North, the Middle States, and the West, growing on vari ous soils except those wet. One of the worst scourges of the.
crops is the clo ver stalk borer,.
Hylesen us trifolii, -which attacks the pith of both the stalk and root.
We give a cut of the clover plant and insect, show- ing its work. The description is as.
fon ow s : clover stalk and root, showing the work.
of the insect in_ the crown and root ; b, larva or.
grub; c, pupa; d, beetle or perfect insect ; the figures all enlarged. The young larva, natural size, is shown by the mark at.
bottom of boring in the orifice of the root. Red clover is beg,naning to be especially valued in the South, on rich and dry bottom lands, and also on the hill loams, as a pasture for swine, for hay and, especially, as a renovator of the soil. If pasttwed close, however, it is said to be killed. White clover is also well spoken of for thicken ing up the bottom of other grasses, particularly Bermuda grass. Lucerne is also being experi mented with, and is well spoken of. There are two varieties of annual clover sometimes culti vated in gardens. The French Critnson clover and the Neaopolitan clover, neither of which have any special value in aga-iculture. Besides the great value of clover as pasture and for cut ting green for soiling and for hay, for all farm animals, except horses, its value in the rotation should not be overlooked. It not only destroys weeds from its dense shade upon rich land, but also by shading the soil causes the accumulation of nitrogen. The deep roots of clover penetrate far into a dry sub-soil, bringingup mineral matter and depositing it near the surface. When turned under, both its roots and its burthen of tops fur nish a large amount of humus to the soil, and the rotting of its deep tap roots affords drains to carry off superahuudant moisture. Clover should be sown in the spring, if possible upon a crop of wheat, as soon as the frost begins to leave the soil. If sown alone, it will generally produce a cutting late in the season, and if sown with wheat, will give valuable pasture after the grain is harvested. Tbe quantity WWII may be from ten to sixteen pounds, according to the use for which it is intended—for seed, the first named quantity ; for hay and pasture, the latter quantity. When sown in connection with grasses, from four to ten pounds of clover should be used according to the quantity required in the mixture. The following analyses of the two principal varieties of clover, and also of Lucerne, will show their constituents and also their value economically, these all having been made at the time of flowering, at which time both stalks, leaves and blossoms are richest in assimilable constituents. The analyses of these important varieties, in the green and dry state, used for both fodder and hay, substantially, as given bv Einhof and Crome, are as follows: As with the hay of the true grasses, the dried clover is more valuable than the green, as shown by the following table: The value of clover is increased instead of dimin ished (as with the grasses) by a slow process of curing. It requires a longer time to cure it pro perly, and if exposed to the scorching sun it is soon injured even more than the natural grasses, since its succulent leaves and tender blossoms are quickly browned, and lose their sweetness in a measure, and are thenaselves liable to be wasted in handling over. Clover should be cut, there fore, while dry and free from dew; it should be exposed to the sun only enough to thoroughly wilt it, when it should be formed into small cocks, and permitted to dry until fit to place in the barn. Thus the tender and succulent leaves are secured in a form nearly resembling the green plant, which is a matter of vital importance in the economy of all tender leaved forage plants.
From the oily nature of clover seed, its small size and heavy character, it soon deteriorates when kept in bulk. For this reason many far mers prefer to keep it in the dry chaff, until ready for sowing Thus in buying seed one should always be assured tbat it is sound, and of the previous season's growth. Many of our best farmers test the seed, before sowing, by strewing it between folds of damp cloth and placing it in a warm situation, or by sowing the seed in a box, in the window, and keeping it moist until sprouted. If good, it should germinate inside of two weeks. In raising clover, for seed, the first crop should be mown as soon as it is in blossom and the seed taken from the second, or after-crop, since the first blossoms are usually infertile. The heads for seed should be left until quite brown, mowed, allowed to dry thoroughly, and then be placed on a scaffold in the barn, or carried up in narrow, ventilated stacks properly thatched, or covered with marsh hay, to secure all from wet. When properly cured it may be threshed by means of flails or, better, by a clover huller aud separater. Much has been said and written in the Southern States concerning Japan clover, a recent emigrant from Japan. It is a low, perennial plant, not rising much above the ground but spreading widely on the surface. It belongs to the legu minous family of plants, which includes the common clover, bean, pea, etc. The leaves are very small, trifoliate, and very numerous. The flowers are exceedingly small and produced in the axils between the leaf and stem, and the fruit is a small flattish pod. Prof. Killebrew says concerning it : About the year 1849 it was noticed in the vicinity of Charleston, S. C., the seeds having been brought from China or Japan in tea boxes. A short time afterwards it was discovered at a distance of forty miles from Charleston, and still later near Macon, Ga. It seems especially adapted to the Southern States, not flourishing above 36% but growing with great luxuriance on the poorest soils, and retain ing vitality in its roots in the severest droughts. It is said to be a fine plant for grazing and, being a perennial, needs no re-sowing and but little attention. On soils unfit for anything else it furnishes good pasturage and supplies a heavy green crop for turning under and improving the land. Mr. Samuel 1VIcRamsey, of Tennessee, says: This clover made its appearance in that locality in 1870. It is fast covering the whole country; it supplies much grazing from the first of August until frost. It is short, but very hard. Sheep are very fond of it, and cattle will eat it. Mr. Chas. Mohr, Mobile, Ala., says: It was intro duced from Eastern Asia and has, during the last decade. overspread the Southern States from the Atlantic slope to the banks of the IVEssissippi. Cattle and horses eat it. Of its value as a nutri tive food the writer does not state definitely. Mexican Clover (Richarelsonia scabra) is an annual plant of the Natural Order Rubiacece, which contains the coffee, cinchona, and ipe cacuanha plants. It is a native of Mexico and South America. It has, within a few years, be come extensively naturalized in some parts of the South. Under favorable circumstances it grows rapidly, with succulent, spreading, leafy stems, which bear the small flowers in heads or clusters at the ends of the branches, and in the axils of the leaves. The flowers are funnel formed„white, about half an inch long, with four to six narrow lobes and an equal number of stamens inserted on the inside of the corolla tube. The stem is somewhat hairy, the leaves opposite and, like other plants of this order, connected at the base by stipules or sheaths. The leaves are oblong or elliptical and one or two inches long. Mr. John M. McGehee, of Florida, writes as follows: We here call the plant Florida Clover, others call it Water Parsley, and others Bell Fountain. This plant is now attracting more interest in this section than any other article of farming interest. It is very troublesome to farmers in the cultivation of their crops; its growth is very rapid. It contains a great deal of water, and is hard to cure as a hay. Some call it very good hay, others say it is worthless. For the last fifty years it has been regarded as a great pest to farmers. It is now coming into notice a,s an element in green-soiling, which has never been practiced in this section heretofore. Mr. Matt. Coleman, of Florida, writes: The tradi tion is that when the Spanish evacuated Pen sacola this plant was discovered there by the cavalry horses feeding upon it eagerly. Hearing of this I procured some of the seed and have been planting or cultivating it in nty orange grove from that time to the present as a forage plant and vegetable fertilizer. I fiud it ample and sufficient. It grows on thin, pine land from four to six feet, branches and spreads, in every direction, forming a thick matting and shade to the earth, and affords all the mulching my trees require . One hand can mow as much in one day as a horse will eat in a year; two days' sun will cure it ready for housing or stacking, and it makes a sweet, pleasant-fiavored hay; horses and cattle both relish it. The bloom is white, always open in the morning and closed in the evening. Bees and all kinds of butterflies seek the bloom.