Where it Grows: Wild Clovers can be found all over the Northern Hemisphere mainly in meadows and bright sunny spots. Some native, some naturalized. It will grow anywhere there are people and can also be found in South America, Africa, and Australia. It does like a little bit of shade and suffers in hot dry weather. The two most common clovers are Red Clover and White Clover. Red Clover is larger with taller stems and big purple to pink flower heads. White Clover is smaller, closer to the ground, and has smaller white flower heads and sometimes variegated leaves.
Growing & Harvesting: Clover is actually commonly planted by farmers as a cover crop or sown in fallow fields as it is known to naturally restore nitrogen to the soil. Scatter clover seeds all over your grass lawn in spring or early fall and you’ll never have to fertilize your lawn again. Clover doesn’t mind compacted soil at all so let your children run wild over it. Planting clover in your lawn will also attract honey bees and other beneficial insects to your yard. This is especially beneficial if you have a vegetable or herb garden that needs pollinating. Clover seeds are easily found in just about any seed catalogue or local garden centre. Continually harvest the flower heads of Red Clover as they bloom and dry them for a medicinal tea or for use in magic. White clover flowers are edible, but should only be eaten in small quantities.
Magic: Clover is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It has been used both medicinally and magically since ancient times. Although modern folklore has this three-leaved plant being associated with the Christian Holy Trinity, the association of plants with three leaves goes much further back into Pagan times. The ancient Greeks and Romans associated it with their triple Goddesses and the Celts considered it a sacred symbol of the Sun. It is the national flower of Ireland, but the association with St. Patrick is actually more modern. In folk magic Red Clover is used in a ritual bath to attract money and prosperity to the bather and is also used as a floorwash to chase out evil and unwanted ghosts. White Clover is used for breaking curses and is worn as a sachet or put in the four corners or a house or someone’s property to achieve this. The four-leaf clover is a very famous good luck charm believed to protect from evil spirits, witches, disease, and the evil eye. This familiar childhood rhyme for a four-leaf clover actually originates from the Middle Ages:
One leaf for fame, one leaf for wealth,
One for a faithful lover,
And one leaf to bring glorious health,
Are all in a four-leaf clover
All of these together are supposed to give one the happiest and most fulfilling life possible. Four-leaf clovers are also traditionally used to see fairies and other spirits, to heal illnesses, and to avoid being drafted into the military. Three leaved-clovers are worn as a protective talisman and two-leaved clovers are used by young women to get a glimpse of a future lover. With its three leaves, Clover is a very shamanic plant allowing one to see into and interact with the Otherworld. It is a good talisman of protection and power for traveling out of body and walking between worlds. Never underestimate the magical power of this simple and harmless weed. It also makes a good offering to Mercurial deities and can be burned with incense, added to ritual smoking blend, made into alcoholic brews, or left with a food offering.
Medicine: Clovers are very good for both your health and your livestock animals’ health (if you have any). They are rich in nutrients and vitamins and the leaves and flowers can be added to salads or used as garnish. Use the new green leaves when eating them raw, but you can also add the tougher older leaves to sautéed or steamed greens like spinach and kale. You can even add the leaves into stir fries, soups, and pasta sauces, but add them last and just cook until wilted to retain the nutrients. Even the roots can be eaten when cooked. You can batter and fry Clover flowers just like Elder flowers. The flowers of both types of clover can be used to make homemade wines, beers, or vinegars. Red Clover flowers are steeped to make a popular tea which, although drunk for pleasure, can be used to treat liver and gallbladder issues, stomach and digestive issues, as well as for women’s menstrual and fertility issues.