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Red Clover
Fabaceae
Trifolium pretense


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb


Fabaceae Family

Trifolium Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Trefoil. Purple Clover, Meadow Trefoil, Cleaver Grass, Marl Grass, Sweet Clover, Wild Clover, Cow Clover


Location

Native to Eastern Mediterranean and Asia; naturalized to the United States. Ranges throughout the United States; found in lawns, on roadsides, in fields and in other disturbed habitats, Abundant in Britain, throughout Europe, Central and Northern Asia from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle and high up into the mountains.

Physical Description
Red clover grows up to 16 inches, with a hairy upright stem. The leaves are made up of three (and sometimes, the lucky four!) oval leaflets with a prominent white “V” mark in the center, called a chevron. The flowers are purple to pink and are egg-shaped. Red clover are found in fields and grassy areas and are readily identified by the three part leaves, the white V in the center of each leaf, and the distinctive purple-pink flower. Without the flower, the key to differentiating red from white clover is the V mark on the leaves, present in the red clover but absent in the white.

Also, leaves of white clover are all on stems that originate from the base of a central stem; red clover leaves spring from both the base of the central stem and above.




Compare Species
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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

Historically, tea made of the red clover flower has been used as an antispasmodic, expectorant, a mild sedative, and a blood purifier; additionally, the tea has been used for asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory spasms

Medicinal Uses: A wash made from the flowers is used as a topical remedy for cancer; the belief was that a concentrated decoction applied to the site of the tumor would draw it out and clear it from the body. Red clover was also used for athlete’s foot, sores, burns and skin ulcers. The flowers were also smoked in “anti-asthma” cigarettes. Today, red clover flowers are made into a wine as well as the previously described tea; they are also used to treat coughs and respiratory spasms. Estrogens in red clover may be useful in treating menstrual problems. . Use of red clover as an anti-AIDS and anti-diabetic medicine has been suggested.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western folk medicine used this plant as a diuretic, a cough expectorant (an agent that promotes discharge of mucus from the respiratory passages), and an alterative. Alterative plants were considered beneficial for chronic conditions, particularly those afflicting the skin.

Food Uses: Food Uses: Dried clover blossoms were put in with soups and stews, where they added vitamins and minerals. Red clover is a source of many valuable nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. Red clover is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants).

Native Americans have been known to eat red clover in salads, and dried flowers can be dried and turned into flour that can be used in breads, muffins, or pancakes

Leaves and young flowering heads - raw or cooked. The young leaves are harvested before the plant comes into flower, and are used in salads, soups etc. On their own they can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach. The leaves are best cooked. They can be dried, powdered, and sprinkled on foods such as boiled rice. The leaves contain 81% water, 4% protein, 0.7% fat, 2.6% fiber, and 2% ash. The seed can be sprouted and used in salads. It has a crisp texture and more robust flavor than alfalfa (Medicago sativa). The seeds are reported as containing trypsin inhibitors. These can interfere with certain enzymes that help in the digestion of proteins, but are normally destroyed if the seed is sprouted first. Flowers and seedpods - dried, ground into a powder and used as flour. The young flowers can also be eaten raw in salads. Root - cooked. A delicate sweet herb tea is made from the fresh or dried flowers. The dried leaves impart a vanilla flavor to cakes etc

Red clover is the state flower of Vermont. It is the national flower of Denmark and the state flower of Vermont.

The three leaves were said to correspond to the triad goddesses of Mythology, and later to the Trinity in Christianity

The V or crescent markings on the leaves of the red clover were once believed to be a sign that the plant would be useful in curing cataracts (in accordance with the Doctrine of Signatures, which was a belief that a plant’s appearance indicated the ills it would cure).





Red Clover
Blossom, with a V marked leaf



Red Clover


Comment: Red Clover, Trifolium pretense

Page Posts: 1

MrFlores
MrFlores
June 11, 2010
What a great picture!

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