Mark, this is not a clover...the seeds are skirt shaped like a scabiosa and I strongly suspect it is in that family. I think they are nice Badseed...I've only found them growing wild in one place along the freeway. I've tried to start them several times from seed and get some germination but they seem to drown or something...I think they must need extremely good drainage. They remind me of "sheep's bit" but the leaves aren't right. Anybody got any other ideas? Thanks!
Cala, it is so funny that you should post this! I was looking at mine yesterday and it is now flowering. My leaves don't look exactly the same, but the flower looks like a Scabiosa! I had intended to do more research but haven't had time yet.
It looks like my Devil's bit scabious ... http://plantsdatabase.com/go/1349/ My flowers are a pale lavender but the foliage looks the same. I have some pictures of the foliage some where on my hard drive. I'll try to dig them up for you.
Thank you for looking at this and doing some research too...you guys are the greatest! I've looked and looked and the closest I can find for the foliage is this: http://info.med.yale.edu/library/historical/fuchs/414-5.gif
But anything more about scabiosa vulgaris (the one on the right) is not forthcoming as far as I can tell. Makes me wonder even more about it. Again, thank you very much and the pictures are great, poppysue. But the leaves are different...the ones on mine are not lanceolate but more finely cut like the S. vulgaris one. This is really a mystery to me that I've been trying to solve since last summer when I first noticed them...
Thanks, Baa. It is very much like the knautia arvensis...do the seed heads look the same? I couldn't tell in the photos I found on line. This almost looks like a cross between a scabiosa and a teasel. How do you grow yours? As I said, I get a little germination and then the plants just sort of go away. I think maybe too much water. Also, are they a perennial?
Again, thank you everyone.
They are a perennial, native of dry, open grassland here and even grow wild in Siberia so they are hardy enough. They don't germinate too readily and don't like to be too wet. Ours grow best on well drained, alkaline soil which isn't disturbed much in full sun, the honey scent is quite strong on warm days. There is a bit more in the PDB but if you want to know more just ask :)