|Description:||Under a moderately high magnification of 671x, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed some of the ultrastructural details seen on the surface of a "crimson clover", Trifolium incarnatum flower petal. This clover was blooming during the month of March on the grounds of the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Being that flower petals are actually modified leaves, the highly textured surface, composed of many cavitations and protuberances, are actually modification of the plant's leaf morphology, such as the leaf's stomata, which are the leaf pores through which the plant respires.|
The crimson clover is one of approximately 300 members of the pea family, Fabaceae. Also known as "Italian clover", its tiny flowers are arranged in a compact crimson-colored cluster. Its leaves are arranged in the form of three leaflets that either smooth, or slightly toothed. Initially, crimson clover was brought to the continental United States to be used as cattle fodder, as well as to nutritionally improve soils prior to replanting a field with a food crop.