alsike clover

(Trifolium hybridum)

Conservation Status
alsike clover
  IUCN Red List

not listed


SNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Alsike clover is a creeping, perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a taproot.

The stems are light green and hairless or nearly hairless. They tend to fall over with age, usually from rain or wind, but do not root at the nodes.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on long, hairless leaf stalks. The leaflets are elliptical, hairless, and to ¾ long and wide. They have no markings on the upper surface and are not notched or pointed at the tip. The margins are finely-toothed.

The inflorescence is several globular, head-like clusters borne on hairless stalks rising from the upper leaf axils. The flower heads are ½ to ¾ across. Each head has up to 50 flowers.

The flowers are pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a banner, 2 wings, and a keel formed by two petals fused together at the tip. Each individual flower is borne on a short stalk. The petals are white or pale pink to pinkish-white. They gradually turn darker pink as they mature. Later they turn brown.

The fruit is a seed pod.




1 to 2½


Flower Color


Pale pink to pinkish-white, turning dark pink to almost red.


Similar Species


Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) stems are densely hairy. The petals are crimson red.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) stems are hairy. The leaflets have a pale V-shaped marking on the upper surface. The petals are pink or magenta. The individual flowers are stalkless.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a much smaller plant, 4 to 10 tall. The stems are creeping, not ascending, and they root at the nodes. Flowers and leaves are borne on separate stalks. The leaflets have have a pale, crescent-shaped marking on the upper surface and may be notched at the tip. The flower heads are more white.


Disturbed sites




May to September




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28.




Native to Europe, western Asia, the Caucasus, and Morocco. Introduced and naturalized in North America.





  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  


Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae (Papilionoideae)  


  Genus Trifolium (clover)  
  Subgenus Trifolium  
  Section Vesicastrum  

The species hybridum means “hybrid”. When Carl Linnaeus first described this species he thought it was a hybrid between Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (Trifolium repens). He was mistaken.


Subordinate Taxa


Several of the Trifolium species that occur in Minnesota have had two or more subspecies and/or varieties described. For all of these species, the infrataxa are recognized by GRIN but not by ITIS or USDA PLANTS.

Two varieties of alsike clover have been described based mostly on growth form and branching pattern.




Amoria hybrida

Trifolium elegans

Trifolium hybridum ssp. elegans

Trifolium hybridum var. elegans

Trifolium hybridum var. pratense


Common Names



alsike clover

hybrid clover

Swedish clover









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  alsike clover   alsike clover


  alsike clover    


  alsike clover    

Flower Head

  alsike clover    
  alsike clover    


  alsike clover   alsike clover


  alsike clover    


  alsike clover    



  Trifolium hybridum
Matt Lavin
  Trifolium hybridum  

Introduced perennial herb, stems ascending, usually much less than 0.5 m tall, leaflets serrate at least distally, terminal leaflet sessile like the lateral leaflets (which is true of all Trifolium species), flowering peduncles about 15-25 mm long, pod 1-few-seeded, inconspicuous and concealed by the calyx, fruiting head retains the faded dry petals (which is true of all Trifolium species), common in mountain big sagebrush steppe where well grazed and roadsides in open montane understory. Similar to Trifolium repens, which usually has whitish petals and flowering heads that arise from axils of prostrate stems.




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Other Videos
  アルサイククローバーの群生 / Colony of Alsike clover (Swedish clover)

Published on Jun 10, 2013

2031年6月9日。和歌山県橋本市の某所でアルサイククローバーの群生を発見。残念­ながら、花期は終わっていました。別名「タチオランダゲンゲ(立和蘭蓮華)」。英名は­「alsike clover」「Swedish clover」。学名「Trifolium hybridum Linn.」。マメ科シャジクソウ属の多年草。

  Alsike Clover

Uploaded on Feb 8, 2012

Alsike Clover

  Clover Identification - Thistle Ridge Stables
Laura Kelland-May

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Knowing the difference between difference types of clovers could save your horse's life. Learn how to identify white, red and alsike clover.




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