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Trifolium hybridum
Trifolium hybridum (Alsike Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, streamsides, disturbed areas. June-September.
Echo Basin Road, July 14, 2015.

Trifolium hybridum is a sprawling to erect, short-lived perennial that is easily mistaken for Trifolium pratense (see below). Compare the two and you will see obvious differences in the flower head, the leaf color, and the overall growth habits of the two plants. Most keys separate the two very early on with one characteristic: the flower head of T. hybridum has a peduncle and is not subtended by stipules or a pair of leaves.

Linnaeus named this genus and species in 1753.

Trifolium hybridum

Trifolium hybridum (Alsike Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows, streamsides, disturbed areas. June-September.
Echo Basin Road, July 14, 2015.

Notice that the flower head is not immediately subtended by leaves and that the leaves are evenly serrated, lack light color leaf spots, and have a tiny point at their tip (noticeable on the freshest leaf at middle right).

 

Trifolium pratense

Trifolium pratense

Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Meadows. May-November.
East Fork of the Dolores River Trail, August 25, 2005.

Red Clover is a wide-spread non-native plant, found from city lots to farm fields to mountain meadows. It is a significant forage crop and a favorite with bees. It grows quickly if given ample moisture and it is quite noticeable because of its large, long-lasting, and colorful flower head and its large leaves, often strikingly two-toned.

Linnaeus named this genus and species in 1753. "Pratense" is Latin for "found in meadows".

Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Meadows. May-November.
Lower Calico Trail, June 16, 2004.

In crowded grassy areas, Red Clover will stretch for the sun and grow upright.  In the openings of trails, Red Clover does what it likes best: rest itself sprawling along the ground.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Trifolium hybridum

Range map for Trifolium hybridum

Range map for Trifolium pratense