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The water clover

The water clover is a plant species that has almost died out in Europe because of the disappearance of wetland and humid habitats, but in Croatia it is widely distributed over the riparian pasturelands of the Sava floodplain area.  The four-leafed water clover covers the muddy areas of the depressions in the pastures in dense complexes, and when the flood waters retreat, it turns into a terrestrial plant.    Preservation of the species is much connected with the traditional pasturing practice, above all the grazing of pigs, a large percentage of the landrace pigs spending a larger part of the year in the open, common, pastures.  In early spring when the waters withdraw, the pigs are the first out onto the pastures, and with their rooting and wallowing aid the spread of the water clover’s rhizomes and the creation of suitable ecological conditions for the growth and development of the plant.