Clover Crossing
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Patricia
Posted on: July 12, 2007

I am gradually taking out my lawn and would like to add some ornamental clover (black-leaved [aka. Bronze Dutch Clover] and variegated Dragon’s Blood) to help cover and rebuild the soil, and to fool my golf-course lawned neighbours into thinking that I have interesting ground covers, not that "damn invasive weed."

I already have a few patches of "volunteer" white clover.

My question is: Will these varieties (white/black/variegated) of clover interbreed? I wouldn’t want to dilute the ornamental clover colourings. If they do cross, I may have to rethink my plan.

Clovers do not cross easily, because they are strictly bee pollinated and bees tend to stick to one crop at a time. This is why plants flowering closely one after the other tend to have the same colour and sometimes even similar shape, because the later flowering plants want to use the same pre-trained bees. My garden has a creeping white clover in the lawn and red clover as a weed all about the edges, but I have never seen anything remotely like a hybrid between them.

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