There is nothing more spectacular than a fields of colorful clovers. Here, is a combination of purple and white Owl’s Clover, mixed with Lupines and Poppies. These wildflowers are composed of pink-purple colored bracts, and yellow flower petals tinged with purple. The flowers and bracts collectively form narrow, showy plume-like spikes. The “bracts” are really small, modified leaves, not flower petals. The bract’s bright color, combined with the actual flowers, form a large visual target for pollinating insects and birds. For annuals, it is important that a seed crop be formed each year.
During spring, the presence of moisture triggers germination of Owl Clover’s seed; usually a portion of an annual’s seed supply remains dormant in the soil as a fail-safe mechanism. However, in years when precipitation is very abundant, Owl Clover may exhibit a mass flowering, producing a carpet of purple color.
Owl Clover is a member of the Snapdragon Family, which includes other well known plants such as snapdragon, speedwell, beard-tongue, foxglove, monkey
flower, and the well known, Indian paintbrush. The “brush” is a compact spike composed of red colored petals and bracts.
Photo: Big Sur, California, USA