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lands it sometimes grows to the height of 5 feet. The plants do not reach their full size until the second year, and in some instances until a period even later. They grow less rapidly than those of medium red clover, are several weeks later coming into flower, and grow much less vigorously in the autumn. Ordinarily, they furnish but one cutting of hay each year. Because of the more fibrous character of the root growth, the plants do not heave so readily as those of red clover. In moist situations they are much given to lodge; hence, the importance of growing this crop, when grown for hay, along with some kind of grass that will help to keep the stems erect.
Alsike clover furnishes a large amount of pasture. It is relished, at least, fairly well. The leaves are slightly bitter, but not enough to seriously interfere with their palatability. The quality of the hay is excellent. This arises from its fineness, from the number of the small branches and leaves on the stems, and from its fragrance when well cured. While it makes a very suitable hay for horses and cattle, it has peculiar adaptation for sheep, owing to its fineness.
As a fertilizer it is probably not equal to medium red clover, since the root growth is not so bulky. Nor does it produce a second cutting anything like so vigorous as the former. Nevertheless, the roots possess even stiff soils to such an extent that they not only furnish them with much plant food, but they also tend to disintegrate them and to render them more easy to pulverize.
As a honey plant, alsike clover is without a rival among clovers, unless it be in the small white variety. It is a great favorite with beekeepers. Many of them sow it to enable them to furnish pastures for their bees. The bloom remains for a relatively long period. The honey is also accessible to the common honey bee, since the branches are numerous on the stems, and since each branch bears a head, the flower heads are relatively quite numerous. Since the honey is accessible to the common bee, pollination in the plants is assured; hence, the failures in the seed crop are few, and when other conditions are favorable, seed production is abundant. Because of the many good qualities of this clover it is deservedly a favorite wherever it can be successfully grown. When in full bloom, a field of alsike clover is a very beautiful sight. The flowers are a pale white at first, but gradually they deepen into a beautiful pink of tinted shades, and their fragrance is fully equal to their beauty.
Distribution. —Alsike clover is found in Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia. In these it has been cultivated for a long time, but its favorite home in the Old World would seem to be in Northern Europe. It would doubtless be correct to say that it is indigenous to Europe, and probably that it is indigenous to each of the three continents named. It is not indigenous to America, but was introduced into the same probably from Great Britain or Scandinavia. In some parts of North America it grows with a luxuriance equal to, if not, indeed, greater, than that shown by this plant when
grown under the most favorable conditions which Europe furnishes.
This plant is better adapted to a cool and humid climate than to one hot and dry. It is even more hardy than medium red clover, in the sense of enduring cold, and will live under conditions of climate so austere as to be fatal to red clover. It may, therefore, be grown further north than medium red clover, and under conditions so exposed as to cause medium red clover to fail. But it does not succeed quite so well as the former toward the southerly limit of the successful production of medium red clover; hence, the limit of production in the semiarid belt ceases sooner than in the case of the other variety. The best climatic conditions for growing it are found not far from the boundary line between the United States and Canada, and in the vicinity of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Great Lakes..
In the United States the best crops are grown in the States which border on Canada, and in these the highest adaptation, climate and soil considered, is found in Michigan, Wisconsin and Northeastern Minnesota. But in New York the adaptation is also high, and also in certain parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington. Good crops may also be grown in nearly all the second tier of States that lie southward from the Canadian boundary. The exceptions are those embraced in the semi-arid belt. Further south than the second tier of States to which reference has just been made, the successful growth of alsike generally lessens, and yet in parts of these States, as, for instance, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, good crops are grown. Some of the Rocky Mountain valleys, more especially those that can be irrigated, and that are also sufficiently elevated, grow excellent crops of alsike. Much of the province of Ontario has very high adaptation to the growth of alsike clover, and in several counties of that province large quantities are grown, not only for hay, but also for seed. In Ontario County in the said province, are certain clay soils rich in lime; in fact, almost marley in character, which have been found especially well adapted to growing alsike clover seed, and in certain areas in proximity to the Georgian Bay, adaptation exists about equally high. In some parts of Quebec good crops are also grown. But this variety of clover has not been grown as yet with much success in Manitoba, Assiniboia, Alberta or Saskatchewan. Both soil and climate, however, in these provinces should not be uncongenial to it in the main. In the cultivable lands of British Columbia, as in those of Washington, it grows remarkably well. Especially in the river bottoms and on the tide !ands can immense crops be grown, as also on the tide lands of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but not on the upland sandy soils of these provinces.