Oxalis or Clover - Whats in your garden???

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Crazy1

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What’s in your lawn or tort pen?

What you may think is Clover may not be.
Shamrocks, sour grass, wood sorrel, Oxalis or clover, which is in your yard?
All of these plants looks similar and are known by many different names. Usually it is the flower that gives it away.

Shamrocks in olden days were actually white clover. But Shamrocks or what is sold mainly these days as Shamrocks are actually Oxalis or wood-sorrels which are toxic to torts.
These are known by the names wood sorrel, woodsorrels, yellow-sorrels or pink-sorrels after the color of their flowers. Other species are colloquially known as false shamrocks, and some are rather misleadingly called "sourgrasses". For the genus as a whole, the term oxalises is also used. These plants have a clover shaped leaf but the flower ( in many different colors) is trumpet shaped.

Oxalis, (toxic to torts) called by several names (see above), the flowers are trumpet shaped and similar to each other though there is a variety of colors such as white, yellow, pink, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_sorrel
Oxalis
Oxalis.jpg

Sorrel
sorrel.jpg

Oxalis _arborea
Oxalis_arborea1.jpg



Clover is also known as (Trifolium), or trefoil, it is safe for torts. The flower is rounded and sort of spiky.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clover
Here is a pic of a clover flower they too may come in a variety of colors such as white, red, crimson etc.
White Clover
whiteclover.jpg

Red clover
Red_clover.jpg

clover inflorescence
cloverinflorescence.jpg



Oxalates:
Plants that contain irritating substances known as oxalate salts. Contact with the sap may cause burning, swelling and pain.
Treatment:
Rinse mouth, and if contact with skin, wash with soap and water. Observe for problems in swallowing and breathing, and increased drooling. Also check for irritation and swelling of mouth, lips, and tongue.

Spinach and beets contain some oxalates that bind dietary calcium, making it unavailable to the tortoise. Use in limited quanties or do not feed at all. Some plants contain high levels of oxalates as in the case of wood sorrel or Oxalis and eaten in high quantity[/i]: Consumption of oxalates (for example, the grazing of animals on oxalate-containing plants such as greasewood), or human consumption of Sorrel may result in kidney disease or even death due to oxalate poisoning. Many metal ions form insoluble precipitates with oxalate, a prominent example being calcium oxalate, which is the primary constituent of the most common kind of kidney stone and bladder stones in tortoises.
 

bettinge

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This is a great note to sticky. A common mistake we have all made, and would continue to if we did not have resources like you. This answers questions many will have each summer.
Do you know the nutritional content of clover? Mine seems to graze on it often!
 

purpod

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Wow Robyn, that's so bizarre!

I'm pretty sure that my "shamrocks" are indeed oxalis; and you know, Snortie Tortie would eat the entire plant if I let her! Actually, she did eat the entire plant, which was why the next time I found the plant, I did not plant it in the T-Town!

The others that I have are indeed the clovers (the ones near the torties pool) as they have those white fluffy flowers.

THANK YOU so very much for this clarification, Robyn!! You are the BOMB!

Blessings,
Purpod
 

Crazy1

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Betts, this is what I have found thus far,
http://www.pakbs.org/pjbot/PDFs/41(1)/PJB41(1)041.pdf

This is for dry clover hay:
Table 1: Typical nutrient content of hays fed to horses (as fed basis).
Hay Variety.........Crude Protein (%)......Calcium (%)...........Phosphorus (%)
Alfalfa...................15 to 20...............0.9 to 1.5...............0.2 to 0.35
Red Clover.............13 to 16................0.8 to 1.5...............0.2 to 0.35
Orchardgrass...........7 to 11................0.3 to 0.5...............0.2 to 0.35
Timothy..................7 to 11................0.3 to 0.5...............0.2 to 0.35
Bermudagrass..........6 to 11...............0.25 to 0.4..............0.15 to 0.3
Tall Fescue..............5 to 9.................0.3 to 0.5..............0.2 to 0.35
Sources: National Research Council, 1989; UK Equine Nutrition Program, 1999.

Red Clover
While not as high in nutrients as alfalfa, red clover will provide higher nutrient value than a grass hay like Timothy

White Clover
http://www.fao.org/docrep/v2350e/v2350e03.htm

I also sent a email to the the horticulture department of VA. Requesting the nutritional value of fresh clover. Will post if they return with the information.
 

tortoisenerd

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Good post! Thanks as always. I too would like to know some of the nutritional contents for weeds and such. I have no problem finding them for human foods such as greens though. Tough question I know. I assume weeds are typically better than lettuces unless they are high in oxalic acid.
 

Crazy1

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Inland Empire, CA
Weeds high in oxalic acid and greens that have Goitrogenic compounds as the ones indicated below if feed in excess. Are not good.

Goitrogenic compounds inhibit the uptake of iodine by the body, and poisoning is indicated by an increase in the size of the thyroid gland, which is clinically recognized as a goiter. There has also been some indication that members of the Brassica family, which includes cabbage, collards, kale and broccoli can cause goiter if fed in excess amounts, but the feeding of a varied diet that is not heavily based on these plants should offset this tendency. If in doubt about this a small amount of dried or powdered kelp can be added to offset this by increasing the amount of iodine in the diet. Many keepers make use of Brassica with no ill effect.

Or useless foods like cucumber or Iceburg lettuce unless fed for greater water intake.

The best thing to remember is variety.
 

lgdpt

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Thanks Robyn, I still am not sure whats in my yard (no flowers today). I wonder what I should do if I have the wrong one.....
 

Crazy1

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Inland Empire, CA
It seems that my DT will eat if if given the chance. I would try and rid your yard of it if it is in great abundance. If it is Oxalis. I personally had to let mine go to flower to find out what I had. Then I had to pull them up.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Robyn...did you see the think clover in the pictures of Queenie outside? My yard is covered with thick New Zealand white and Crimson clover and all my animals eat clover daily, mixed with dandelions and plantain all growing in the yards. The day lilies are about to bloom and Bob will eat all the blooms there are next is the Rose of Sharon and the grape leafs and blackberry vines. All that stuff is growing in the yard and all my tortoises are eating for free. I love this part of the year for the food and treats that grow. The squash and pumpkin plants are grown simply for the big flowers that they put out for Bob...
 

Seiryu

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Thanks for the post Crazy1. Luckily for me it seems I just have white and crimson clover and none of the bad stuff. At least the bad stuff hasn't flowered yet.

I don't think I'd let my tort free graze though. He'll get his own plants in the outdoor enclosure anyways that I know are good for him. Big 10x10 foot outdoor enclosure in the works for next year.
 

Isa

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Really nice thread Robyn.
You are always so helpful :).
I will take a look at what is in my yard to be sure it is all ok. I already did but I want to make sure that the clovers I have in my yard are really clovers.
Thank you!
 

lgdpt

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Robyn, when you pulled it up, did it stay gone? Im reading that its impossible to get rid of the stuff (without poison)because of the bulbs it forms under ground?

Im almost positive its the bad stuff.
 

Crazy1

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No when I pulled it up by hand it just broke off. I had to actually dig it up with a shovel to get rid of it. It wasn't easy. I finally just dug up a pen down to 1 foot deep and took out all the plants. Then replanted it. No clover though so I could see if it was going to come back it has notin two years. So now I will plant clover in specific areas and keep an eye on it. I still have a little bit of the sour grass (as the grandkids call it) every time they come over they pull it up for me. but it is far from the tort pens. And if needed I could use chemicals in that area.
 

dannomite

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Thanks so much Robyn. I have White Clover, its good to know!! I Was kind of worried about Nova eating them as I wasn't quite sure...but she loves em and my yard is full....thanks again!
 

purpod

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G'Day Robyn,

:cool: You are incredibly knowledgeable/resourceful & I just wanted to letcha know that you are very much appreciated! :D

Thanx again,
Purpod :p
 

Seiryu

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Can anyone tell me if these are for sure just clovers? (I hope the pictures worked and are clear enough).

The white clover I can definitely tell that it's a clover. However I have some yellow clover. That has the mini-pedals on it like the white/red but it's much smaller. Does not have heart shaped leaves and no huge pedals.

Ah. My picture size is too big. How does one lower the picture size, or can I not?

Found this. Looks exactly the same. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/123/404045206_3166f36802.jpg?v=0
 

Seiryu

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I think mine is just Yellow clover, definitely not the sweet clover. Which I imagine, just regular yellow is Ok. But yes there are so many different clovers it's ridiculous lol.
 
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