Crimson Clover, grassland, Wiltshire
Close-up of individual flowers
Close-up of fruiting head - shaggily hairy
Trefoil leaf - upper side
Underside of leaflets
Trifolium incarnatum subsp. incarnatum
Italian Clover, Scarlet Clover, Napoleon
May to September
It is thinly scattered throughout the country, but is more
common in southern regions.
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
- Crimson Clover
It is neophyte, which used to be grown as nitrogen-rich crop
in Tudor times.
It has gone out of fashion but is still used as a green manure
to suppress weeds and to increase the nitrogen content of soils.
It is also part of wildflower seed mixtures for decoration, attracting
birds and in wildflower strips to attract insect pollinators on to
It is naturalised in the South in grassy places.
Crimson Clover is an annual, nitrogen-fixing herb growing up
Flowering stems are long and have one trefoil leaf.
Flowerheads are up to 7cm long and up to 2cm across.
Individual flowers are up to 1cm, sessile and shaggily hairy.
Pods are up to 3mm and have 1 seed.
Leaves are on petioles up to 8cm long and each of the
leaflets of the trefoil are up to 4cm.
Stems are erect and shaggy.
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