Menyanthes trifoliata, also known as fibrino clover or water clover, is a perennial aquatic plant native to North America. It consists of thin prostrate stems covered with trilobate, elongated, olive-green leaves, gathered in tufts. Spongy roots stretch out below the stems and sink into the ground. In spring it produces long stems at the top of which are formed spikes of decorative five-petalled flowers, white inside and pink inside, with red stamens.
The specimens of Menyanthes trifoliata like most semi-shaded positions, but the fibrino clover develops well both in the sun and in the complete shade.
The specimens of water clover prefer the banks of ponds or small ponds and can also be placed inside basins with very low water.
The fibrino clover does not fear the cold, but it is advisable to repair the specimens belonging to this variety with strong winds.
The trefoil of water does not like the places where the summers are excessively hot; for this reason, in places where summer temperatures exceed 30-35 ° C for a long time, there is usually a rather low flowering.
The fibrino clover plants prefer acid, well-drained, soft and humus-rich soils.
The plants of Menyanthes trifoliata must be buried in containers filled with soil for acidophilic plants, possibly made lighter and draining with the addition of coarse material, such as pumice stone or perlite, which allow to obtain a well balanced and soft compound.
It is advisable to place the plant in the container by spreading the roots on the surface of the soil, then proceeding to cover it with a few centimeters of soil and placing the vase in a place where the water covers it for 5-7 centimeters.
Plants of this genus growing tend to grow in width and the new stems will easily root on the entire surface of the container and also on the surrounding land.
To obtain new plants of this variety, the densest tufts can be divided in spring, placing the new plants immediately at home; to get a lot of plants from just one, you can also place in each container only a portion of the stem of the mother plant, provided that it has at least some small roots, the new plant will quickly develop and create new stems. This kind of plants, in fact, has a good growth capacity and it will not be too difficult to obtain new specimens.
To have a better development it is good, during the vegetative phase, to give the specimens of the fertilizing products for flowering plants that contain nitrogen and potassium, so that the flowering is more abundant.
Fibrous clover, Water clover - Menyanthes trifoliata: Pests and diseases
occasionally menyanthes can be affected by cochineal and aphids, which irreparably ruin the flowers and stain the leaves. For this reason, before the vegetative restart it is good to intervene with broad-spectrum preventive treatments with specific insecticidal products. If you notice the presence of parasites it is also possible to use natural compounds based on water and garlic or a decoction of nettle to be sprayed on the affected plants.