crimson clover

(Trifolium incarnatum ssp. incarnatum)

Conservation Status

 

No image available

 
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Crimson clover is an annual forb that rises on a rosette of stems from a taproot.

The stems are erect or semi-erect and densely hairy with a few side branches.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. The leaflets are broadly egg-shaped and rounded at the tip.

The inflorescence is a head-like cluster at the end of each stem and branch. The flower heads are cone-shaped, pointed, and 1 to 2 tall. Each head has up to 75 to 125 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. The banner is longer than the wings and the keel. The individual flowers are stalkless. The petals are crimson red.

The fruit is a seed pod containing a single seed.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

6 to 30

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Crismon red

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) stems are hairless or nearly hairless. The petals are pale pink to pinkish-white.

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

White clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens) stems are creeping and they root at the nodes. Flowers and leaves are borne on separate stalks. The leaflets have have a pale, crescent-shaped, not V-shaped, marking on the upper surface. The petals are white or white tinted with pink.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Disturbed sites. Full or partial sun.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to July

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

3, 4, 5, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.

 
  4/4/2023      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native of Europe, Turkey, and Macaronesia. Introduced, cultivated, and naturalized in North America.

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  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  
 

Order

Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  
 

Family

Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae  
  Tribe

Trifolieae

 
  Genus Trifolium (clovers)  
  Subgenus Trifolium  
  Section Trifolium  
  Species Trifolium incarnatum (crimson clover)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
  Trifolium incarnatum var. elatius  
       
 

Common Names

 
 

carnation clover

crimson clover

French clover

Italian clover

scarlet clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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