red clover

(Trifolium pratense)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

red clover

NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native to Northern Africa, Europe, and Western Asia. Introduced and naturalized. Invasive.

Occurrence

Common and widespread

 
Habitat

Disturbed sites

 
Flowering

May to September

     
Flower Color

Magenta to pink to nearly white, but never red

     
Height

1 to 2½

     
 
Identification

This is a perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a taproot with rhizomes.

The stems are light green, hairy, and branching. They can be nearly erect, ascending, or reclining on the ground with just the tip ascending.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. The lower leaves are on long, hairy leaf stalks. The upper leaves are on short stalks or on no stalks at all. The leaflets are lance-shaped or egg-shaped, hairless, to 1 long, and ¼ to wide. The margins are finely-toothed or untoothed. The upper leaf surface is silky-hairy and has a pale V-shaped marking.

The inflorescence is several dense, globular, head-like clusters at the end of the stems. The flower heads are ½ to 1 tall and about 1 across. Each head has up to 25 to 80 flowers. There are usually 1 to 3 stalkless leaflets immediately below the flower head.

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 magenta to pink to nearly white, but never red. They gradually turn darker pink to rose as they age.

The fruit is a seed pod containing 1 or 2 seeds.

 
Similar
Species

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) stems are hairless or nearly hairless. The leaflets have no markings on the upper surface and are not indented or pointed at the tip. The petals are pale pink to pinkish-white.

Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) stems are more hairy. The leaflets have no markings on the upper surface. The petals are crimson red.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a much smaller plant, 4 to 10 tall. The 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.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28.
 
Comments

This is the state flower of Vermont.

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (=Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Trifolieae

 

Genus:

Trifolium

 

Subgenus:

Trifolium

 

Section:

Trifolium

 
Synonyms

Trifolium pratense var. frigidum

Trifolium pratense var. sativum

 
Common
Names

peavine clover

purple clover

red clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       
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Habitat

  red clover    
       

Plant

  red clover   red clover
       

Inflorescence

  red clover   red clover
       
  red clover    
       

Flowers

  red clover    
       

Leaves

  red clover   red clover
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Trifolium pratense
Susanne Wiik
 
  Trifolium pratense  
 
About

Rødkløver, red clover

 
     
  Red Clover
Wez Smith
 
  Red Clover  
 
About

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).

 
     
  Trifolium pratense
Matt Lavin
 
  Trifolium pratense  
 
About

Introduced short-lived perennial, stems ascending to erect, less than 70 cm tall, leaflets serrate at least distally, the terminal leaflet is sessile (like the lateral leaflets, which is true of all Trifolium species), flowering head enveloped by stipules of subtending leaves, 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 lawns, fields, pastures, introduced as a forage crop.

 
     
  Red Clover
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Red Clover  
 
About

Trifolium pratense

The State Flower of Vermont

 
     
  Trifolium pratense RED CLOVER
Frank Mayfield
 
  Trifolium pratense RED CLOVER  
     
  Trifolium pratense (with translation text)
martaprat93
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 16, 2011

More information? Review:
Plants of future (http://www.pfaf.org),
GRIN - Taxonomic information (http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/...)

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) ~ Introduced Species
Wandering Sole TV
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 23, 2013

I was quite surprised when I learned that red clover is an introduced species in North America. It is native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. Red clover is commonly found growing in disturbed soils and this is often where it was deliberately seeded in order to help with erosion control or to enhance the soil fertility of an area (through nitrogen fixation).

   
       
  Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense) - 2012-05-05
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on May 7, 2012

Trifolium pratense (red clover) is a species of clover, native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa.

---------------
De rode klaver (Trifolium pratense) is een overblijvende plant uit de vlinderbloemenfamilie (Leguminosae ofwel Fabaceae).

   
       

 

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