A new and unexpected addition to the flora of Rawcliffe Meadows has been found in the flood basin. Strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum) is an uncommon plant found mainly in coastal grazing marshes, often where there is some flooding by brackish water. It also occurs in old floodplain pastures on clay soils in southern and eastern England. For most of the year it resembles a small version of the common white clover but as it goes to seed the flowers form distinctive pinkish, strawberry-like globes. As far as we know, this is its only site in the Vale of York. As sizeable patches were found, it may have been growing un-noticed in the flood basin for some time.
By Martin Hammond (c) 2013