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Trifolium incarnatum - L.

Common Name Crimson Clover
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy places near the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall[17].
Range Western and southern Europe, including Britain, to the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Full sun
Trifolium incarnatum Crimson Clover


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Trifolium incarnatum Crimson Clover
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Trifolium incarnatum is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Trifolium incarnatum L. var. elatius

Habitats

 Meadow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses: Tea

The seeds can be sprouted and eaten in salads[183]. They can also be dried and ground into a nutritious flour[183]. Dried flower heads are a tea substitute[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Green manure  Soil reclamation

Used as a green manure. It is relatively fast growing, makes an excellent weed suppressing cover and fixes nitrogen[1, 46, 61, 87]. It is also used with grass seed mixes in soil reclamation projects[200].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in poor soils. The ssp. molinerli is the form of this species that is native to Britain, whilst ssp. incarnatum is naturalized in S. Britain and is the form grown as a green manure crop[17]. It grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[201]. It should not be grown with camellias or gooseberries because it harbours a mite that can cause fruit drop in the gooseberries and premature budding in the camellias[201]. Fairly resistant to 'clover rot'[87]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[201]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

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Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring to early summer in situ. The seed can also be sown in early autumn as a winter green manure.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Trifolium bifidumPiñole Clover, Notchleaf clover20
Trifolium ciliatumFoothill Clover20
Trifolium cyathiferumCup Clover10
Trifolium dichotomumBranched Indian Clover20
Trifolium dubiumSuckling Clover01
Trifolium fimbriatumSpringbank Clover, Cows clover30
Trifolium fucatumSour Clover, Bull clover20
Trifolium fucatum virescens 20
Trifolium gracilentumPin-Point Clover, Palmer's clover20
Trifolium hybridumAlsike Clover21
Trifolium lupinasterLupine clover10
Trifolium macrocephalumBighead Clover, Largehead clover10
Trifolium microcephalumSmallhead Clover10
Trifolium obtusiflorumClammy Clover20
Trifolium ornithopodioidesBirdsfoot Fenugreek, Bird clover10
Trifolium pratenseRed Clover33
Trifolium repensWhite Clover, Dutch Clover, Purple Dutch Clover, Shamrock, White Clover32
Trifolium subterraneumSubterranean Clover10
Trifolium tridentatumTomcat Clover20
Trifolium variegatumWhitetip Clover10

 

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Botanical References

17

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