Short-lived perennial, ascending or suberect, to 8 dm, the stem appressed-hairy; stipules oblong, the free part short, abruptly narrowed to a short awn; lower lvs long- petioled, upper short-petioled to sessile; heads sessile or on peduncles to 2 cm, globose to round-ovoid; fls 13-20 mm; cal glabrous to sparsely pilose, the tube 3-4 mm, the lobes setaceous, one 4-7 mm, four 2-5 mm; cor magenta, varying to nearly white; standard obovate-oblong, equaling or a little longer than the oblong obtuse wings; 2n=14. Native of Europe, widely cult. and escaped in fields and roadsides nearly throughout temperate N. Amer. May-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
This species is much sown for pasture and fodder and has frequently escaped in all parts of the state to roadsides, waste places, and fallow fields.
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Introduced perennial, sometimes biennial, 10-60 cm tall; stems erect to ascending, simple to few-branched, sparsely to densely pilose; taprooted. Leaves: Mostly cauline, alternate, trifoliate, the leaflets ovate, rhombic-elliptic, or obovate, 2.5-7 cm long, 7-35 mm wide, distinctly pinnately veined, often with a pale spot in the center, sparsely pilose, margin entire to obscurely crenulate or denticulate; stipules ovate or deltate-acuminate, 1-3 cm long, conspicuously veined; blades petiolate. Flowers: Inflorescence a head, globose in outline, usually more than 10-flowered; peduncles often sparsely pilose; involucre connate at the base, margin of the divisions entire; calyx about 7 mm long, the teeth longer than the tube; corolla 8-11 mm long, white, pink, or purple; flowers June-October. Fruits: Legume; seeds 1, seldom 2. Ecology: Fields and other cultivated areas, disturbed habitats; 1200-2700 m (4000-9000 ft); Apache, Coconino, Gila, Navajo, Pima, and Santa Cruz counties; widely distributed throughout North America. Notes: Red clover is often used as livestock fodder. It is a host plant for orange sulphur, clouded sulphur, Queen Alexandra-s sulphur, eastern tailed blue, and northern cloudywing butterflies. Synonyms: Trifolium pratense var. frigidum, Trifolium pratense var. sativum Editor: Springer et al. 2008