Clovers differ from one another in
duration, habit of growth, persistence in growth, their power to endure
low or warm temperatures, and ability to maintain a hold upon the soil.
Of the varieties named, alfalfa, the small white and alsike varieties
are perennial. That
most intensely so is the first variety named. The
medium red and mammoth varieties are biennial, but sometimes they assume
the perennial quality. Sweet clover is biennial. The crimson, Japan and
burr varieties are annual.
Some varieties, as alfalfa, crimson and sweet clover, are upright in
their habit of growth. Others, as the small white and the burr, are
recumbent. Others again, as the medium red, alsike and mammoth, are
spreading and upright. The alfalfa and medium red varieties grow most
persistently through the whole season. The sweet, small white and alsike
varieties can best endure cold, and the sweet, Japan and burr varieties
can best endure heat. The small white, Japan, burr and sweet clovers
stand highest in ability to maintain a hold upon the soil.
The minor points of difference are such as relate to the shape and color
of the leaves, the tints of shade that characterize the leaflets, the
shape and size of the heads and the distinguishing shades of color in
The characteristics which they possess in common are the high protein
content found in them, the marked palatability of the pasture and hay,
unless in the sweet and burr varieties, the power which they have to
enrich and otherwise improve soils, and the honey which they furnish.
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