Monday, August 13, 2012

Green-flowered clover

These are two inflorescences from the same white clover Trifolium repens plant, growing in the cliffs near Hawthorn Dene on the Durham coast. 

On the left, the normal inflorescence.

The inflorescence on the right has been infected with a strange bacterium-like microorganism called a phytoplasma, which causes the flowers to revert to leaf-like structures - a phenomenon known as phyllody. The disease is transmitted between plants by sap-sucking insects.


  1. The interest here is overshadowed by a superb photograph. the white clover is beautiful.

  2. That's all down to the wonderful Pentax W20 pocket camera Adrian. I bought it about 6 years ago as a discrete pocket camera to use at a family wedding, not realising its potential for taking close-ups that also have enough depth to show some background context. I focuses down to 1cm.!

  3. Interesting Phil
    I have seen many of these this year for the first time on the former Stobswood opencast and wondered exactly what it was

  4. We've got white clover in the garden but I've never seen this before - amazing.

    The normal flowers smell great!

  5. Hi Nigel, strange, aren't they. Some years plants really seem to be infested but there usually seem to be some normal blooms on them too....

  6. Couldn't agree more about the normal flowers Rob .... you can smell the scent in clover honey, can't you?