Red Clover is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland, cropland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 40cm.
Red clover is a short, hairy, ground-cover plant, commonly found growing amongst grasses and often grown as a crop for silage. Its leaves are divided into three leaflets, each with a lighter-shaded, v-shaped marking. The tiny pea-like flowers of Red Clover are arranged into compound flowerheads. The flower petals are usually pink to lilac or purple but sometimes cream.
Botanic classification and naming: Red Clover is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Trifolium' identifies the plant as a Clover and its species name 'pratense' means 'meadow plant'.
Concerns: Red Clover contains isoflavones which produce oestogen-like effects and so breeding animals, especially ewes, are moved off red clover for several weeks either side of conception.
Benefits: Caterpillars of the Burnet Companion and Narrow-Bordered Five-Spot Burnet moths feed on Red Clover. It also attracts seed-eating birds. Red Clover has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.