The Hop Trefoil is a cousin of the Birdsfoot Trefoil, and is quite as plentiful. It grows all summer by the edge of the fields and in grassy pastures.
You will easily recognise it by the flowers. These cluster together in small round yellow heads like a tiny clover. In each head there are from twenty to forty little flowers closely packed together. When you pick one of these tiny flowers to pieces, you find that the petals are very much the same as those of the Birdsfoot Trefoil. But they are so small that you would require a magnifying glass to see them clearly, and to discover the stamens and seed-vessels which are hidden inside.
When the flowers begin to fade, the petals do not fall off at once, but they shrivel and become a pale-brown colour. Sometimes you find a flower of which the lower half is quite brown and withered, while the upper half remains golden yellow.
At the end of the flower-stalk you find a small oval green leaflet, and close below this single leaflet comes a pair of dainty leaflets. On each stalk there is always this triplet. The main stem is covered with fine downy hairs, and you will notice that wherever a leaf-stalk joins this stem there are two small green sheaths with points, which look as if they were meant to cover the join.
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