Trifolium nanum is a small species of clover growing in the Rocky Mountains. Often found above the tree line at more than 11,000 feet, it is able to survive extreme conditions such as blizzards and extreme cold. Dwarf clover grows in dense mats to survive in its environment of dry, nutrient poor, rocky terrain. Flowers are pink and pea-shaped, blooming June through August.
To survive in the tundra environment, dwarf clover has adopted a growth strategy that is successful for many alpine tundra plants. It grows in ground-hugging mats or sometimes low cushion-like mounds, its small leaves stay compact against the plant’s surface, and its flower buds hide between the leaves until many of them pop out at once to cover the plant with color. The mat or cushion shape helps protect tender parts from frost and high winds, helps retain moisture, and holds in heat.
And we're off to Phoenix (UGH!), for a few days. This evening out to dinner & dancing with my buddy, Diana- we'll celebrate our birthdays (hers yesterday, mine today...) - then Saturday I have to sit through eight hours of eyeball talk at a continuing medical education thingy in Scottsdale. Frank will be enjoying himself at the Musical Instrument Museum. Lucky guy.
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