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Trifolium incarnatum - L.

Common Name Crimson Clover
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 3-9
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    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy 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 hardy to zone (UK) 4 and 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].

References

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

References

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

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].

Special Uses

Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References

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.

References

Temperature Converter

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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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Trifolium bifidumPiñole Clover, Notchleaf cloverAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNM203
Trifolium ciliatumFoothill CloverAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNM203
Trifolium cyathiferumCup CloverAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNM102
Trifolium dichotomumBranched Indian CloverAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium dubiumSuckling CloverAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNM013
Trifolium fimbriatumSpringbank Clover, Cows cloverPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHNM302
Trifolium fucatumSour Clover, Bull cloverAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium fucatum virescens Annual0.6 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium gracilentumPin-Point Clover, Palmer's cloverAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium hybridumAlsike CloverPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHNM212
Trifolium lupinasterLupine cloverPerennial0.5 0-0  LMHNM102
Trifolium macrocephalumBighead Clover, Largehead cloverPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHNM103
Trifolium microcephalumSmallhead CloverAnnual0.6 -  LMHNM10 
Trifolium obtusiflorumClammy CloverAnnual1.0 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium ornithopodioidesBirdsfoot Fenugreek, Bird cloverAnnual/Perennial0.2 0-0  LMHNMWe103
Trifolium pratenseRed CloverPerennial0.6 5-9 MLMHNM334
Trifolium repensWhite Clover, Dutch Clover, Purple Dutch Clover, Shamrock, White CloverPerennial0.1 4-8 MLMHNM324
Trifolium subterraneumSubterranean CloverAnnual0.2 7-10  LMHNM104
Trifolium tridentatumTomcat CloverAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM202
Trifolium variegatumWhitetip CloverAnnual1.0 -  LMHNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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