Fever clover: The forgotten all-rounder of the bogs
The Loki Schmidt Foundation has chosen fever clover as the flower of the year 2020. The perennial marsh flower is a real all-rounder and contributes significantly to an intact ecosystem in bogs, swamps and on wet meadows.
By naming the fever clover the Flower of the Year, the Loki Schmidt Foundation draws attention to the urgently needed protection of bogs. Because only a limited number of specialized species feel comfortable in the bog. At the same time, bog landscapes have a significant impact on the climate.
Food source and pioneer
Between April and June, the fever clover displays all of its flowers. The many flowers offer bees and especially bumblebees a rich food supply. The plant's hollow stems and petioles are used for buoyancy and ventilation at the water site. Fever clover, which belongs to the legumes, is a typical early settler in transitional bogs. It also enriches the soil with nitrogen, paving the way for other crops.
Fever clover (Menyanthes trifoliata) was previously used as a remedy for fever. The effect could not be proven by current research. The name Klee is also misleading. The leaves of the fever clover are reminiscent of those of the clover, but there is no relationship. Instead, the fever clover is closely related to the gentian family.
An old medicinal herb
Instead of fighting fever, the plant's bitter plant substances have a beneficial effect on gastric juice and saliva secretion, which is why fever clover is used as a tea mixture for loss of appetite and digestive problems as well as for feeling of fullness or flatulence.
Since many swamps are drained and peat is mined in bogs, the formerly widespread fever clover has become rare. The plant is considered an endangered species on the red list and is protected in many countries.
Bogs grow slowly - but die quickly
Bogs are the transition zones between permanent land and water. Many bogs have existed for over 400 million years. The top layer consists of particularly wet, low-oxygen soils, in which dead plant material accumulates without being decomposed. This layer is called peat. A bog can only build up around 1 millimeter of this peat layer per year.
Why peatlands are essential for the climate
Bogs only make up around three percent of the earth's surface. Nevertheless, about twice as much carbon is bound in bogs as in all forests on earth. "Along with sea plankton, salt marshes and forests, they are among the climate protectors par excellence," write the experts from the Loki Schmidt Foundation. With the drainage of bogs and the degradation of peat, huge amounts of carbon and nitrous oxide are released.
Save Moore Campaign
With the selection of the fever clover for the flower of the year 2020, the foundation wants to contribute to raising public awareness of the bogs again. With the “Save Moore” campaign, the foundation collects donations to restore bog areas and to permanently secure existing bogs. "Never before has a biotope stood for our social responsibility," emphasizes Axel Jahn, Managing Director of the Loki Schmidt Foundation. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek