Red Clover

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Other names: Cowgrass

Family: Fabaceae

Range: Throughout North America

Native: Introduced

Native Habitat: Grasslands, woodlands, forest edges, waste areas.

Bloom Time: Summer

Notes:

Native to Europe, Western Asia and Northwest Africa.

It’s widely used as a fodder crop, and since it fixes nitrogen, as a green manure. (This is why it was introduced to North America.) In fact, other plants that are this widespread would probably be considered invasive, but it’s such an important crop, that’s not the case here.

There are a number of traditional medical uses in several cultures. (This needs to be googled to be fully experienced.) I always enjoyed tasting the nectar in the flowers when I was young.

The leaves have white chevrons, which is an easy way to tell it apart from other clover.  There is a white form of this clover, but the leaves keep that distinct from true white clover (which we also have around here.)

It’s the national flower of Denmark, and the state flower of Vermont.

Locations in Photos:

Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Gilsland Farm, Maine Audubon, Falmouth, ME
Mackworth Island State Park, Falmouth, ME
Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Crawford Notch State Park, Hart’s Location, NH
Scarborough Marsh, Scarborough, ME
My father’s garden, Ellsworth, ME

Resources:

Wikipedia

USDA Plant Profile

Plants and Fungi at Kew

Illinois Wildflowers

Wildflowers of Ireland

GoBotany

The Botanist – My favorite link, from a distillery on Islay, in Scotland.

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