The Four-Leaf Clover

Do you associate the clover with St. Patrick’s Day as much as I do: the luck of the Irish, the four-leaf clover? Did you know that clovers produce delicate flowers, one being the Pink Flowering Oxalis (featured at the top of the post)? I never associated flowers with clovers until I stumbled upon this sweet pink one at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona.

Do you associate the clover with St. Patrick’s Day as much as I do: the luck of the Irish, the four-leaf clover?

The Four-Leaf Clover

The Pink Flowering Oxalis, also known as Pink Wood Sorrel, has some unique attributes that make it quite delightful. At night or if it’s cloudy or rainy, the three-petaled pink flower curls up into a thin rod. Also, the three clover leaves (four if you are lucky) fold up together to conserve moisture. It can be eaten, though best in small quantities or as a compliment to a meal, as it contains Oxalic Acid. Its flavor, close to a lemon, can add a twist to your salad, or sprinkling it on top of cooked fish which will add a subtle flavor. Beware though, as in large quantities it can be toxic.

The Four-Leaf Clover

It’s also good to know that the Pink Flowering Oxalis, so delicate and vibrant, is an invasive plant. From what I understand, “invasive” is a tame word for it. It makes me quite happy that I came across it at the arboretum and not in my own backyard. It’s a delicate, unassuming flower that grows from bulbs and spreads at a wild pace. I read that it can even invade window boxes! Though there are varieties of clover that are not invasive, I would caution against growing them in your garden in case the variety is mislabeled.

To sum up the Pink Flowering Oxalis, would be to say it’s a lovely, demure flower. It’s best found at your local arboretum, in the woods or experienced in someone else’s garden… though hopefully not a garden close to yours.

To experience more of the beauty and power of flowers, I hope you will join me on this journey of discovery and delight of the 400,000 plus flowers that petal our world.

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Pink Flowering Oxalis. Photographed @ Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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