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Crimson Clover
Fabaceae
Trifolium incarnatum


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb




Fabaceae Family

Trifolium Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Italian clover, French clover, Scarlet clover


Location

Native to southern Europe.Local in distribution, but found throughout most of North America except for the Rocky Mountain region.

Physical Description
This upright annual herb grows to 20-50 cm tall, unbranched or branched only at the base. The leaves are trifoliate with a long petiole, each leaflet hairy, 8-16 mm across, with a truncated or bilobed apex. The flowers are produced throughout the spring and summer, rich red or crimson, congested on an elongated spike inflorescence 3-5 cm tall and 1.5 cm broad; the individual flowers are up to 10-13 mm long and have five petals. The banner of each flower does not sit upright, but folds forward.


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Fabaceae
Bean Family
Fabales
Fabales
Order of Beans
NOX Clad
Nitrogen Bean Clad
Oxid-Faba
Fabidae
Bean-Like Class
Eurosids
Real Rose Class
Rosids
Rosids
Rose-Like Class
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

First brought to the United States from Italy in 1819 It has been introduced into the United States, originally as forage for cattle. It is often used for roadside erosion control, as well as beautification, even though it tends to eliminate all other desirable spring and early-summer species of native vegetation in the area, which it is planted.

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

Other Notes: Used as a green manure. It is relatively fast growing, makes an excellent weed suppressing cover and fixes nitrogen. It is also used with grass seed mixes in soil reclamation projects

Crimson clover may be used as a cover crop, green manure, pasture, or hay. It often is used as a winter annual cover crop in annual rotations. It has been used successfully in reduced-tillage farming systems, and in orchards and vineyards where it can be managed to reseed itself.

It may be relay-interplanted into vegetable crops by broadcasting immediately before the final cultivation. However, Willamette Valley trials where crimson clover was relay interplanted into sweet corn have produced mixed results. Intensive shade, seedling water stress, and heavy harvest residue often result in very thin stands. Surviving clover may flower in fall, reducing its winter-hardiness.

Cultivation: Well-cultivated, uniform, and firm seedbed required for best results. Direct drilling (sod seeding) most successful on swards with low-density vegetation and when there is adequate soil moisture.

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.




Crimson Clover




Crimson Clover




Crimson Clover
Curtisís Botanical Magazine

London, 1787-1800

engraving by Lansdown Guilding

[Image in the public Domain]



Comment: Crimson Clover, Trifolium incarnatum

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