Is a herbaceous plant native to North America, parts of Eurasia, and has a rare introduction in Britain. The leaves curl up at night. Although the leaves resemble Clover, they are not related.
It tends to grow in woodlands, meadows, and in disturbed areas as both a perennial and annual. Commonly considered a weed of gardens, fields, and lawns, it grows in full sun or shade. requires dry or moist, alkaline soils, preferring sandy and loamy dirt to grow in. It requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor grounds. It does not do well in shade.
All parts of the plant are edible, with a distinct tangy flavor. The leaves and flowers of the plant are sometimes added to salads for decoration and flavoring. These can also be chewed raw (along with other parts of the plant, but not the root) as a thirst quencher. The green pods are pleasant raw, having a juicy crisp texture and a tartness similar to rhubarb in flavour. The leaves can be used to make a flavored drink that is similar in taste to lemonade, and the whole plant can be brewed as a tisane that has an aroma somewhat like that of cooked green beans. The juices of the plant have been extracted from its greens as a substitute to common vinegar.