Trifolium dubium Sibth.
Least hop clover, small hop clover
Least hop clover is one of several difficult-to-distinguish yellow clovers. From Eurasia and central Asia, it probably arrived in North America by accident, where it has become widespread. It appears in disturbed soil and meadows, and is common in lawns.
Plants: 2-6" (5-15 cm) tall, often forming mats. Stems are green or reddish, and multiply branched.
Leaves: Alternate, in groups of 3, with a larger center leaf on a short petiole (stem), often notched at the top.
Flowers: About ¼" (6.3 mm) yellow flowerheads, oval to spherical, 5-15 flowers per head. Flowers turn brown when seeds ripen.
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|Plant||Plants 6-18" (15-45 cm) high.||Up to 16" (40 cm) tall, sometimes erect, sometimes growing along the ground||2-6" (5-15 cm) tall, often forming mats.|
|Leaves||petiole). Leaflets about ¾" (1.9 cm) long, ¼" (6.3 mm) wide.||petiole) than with other hop clovers, often notched at the top|
|Stem||Multiply branched, usually erect||Green or reddish green, multiply branched||Green or reddish, multiply branched.|
|Habitats||Grasslands, fields, roadsides, wastelands||Temperate grasslands, fields, roadsides, wastelands, cultivated fields||Disturbed soil, meadows, common in lawns.|
Rounded, about ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm)
Three leaves, with slightly serrated tips, center leaf on separate petiole
Seedpods are “coiled”—this is probably the most unique feature of black medic
Trifolium dubium in Paghat's Garden
Trifolium dubium on the Ecology of Commanster
Trifolium dubium on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Trifolium dubium on CalPhotos
Trifolium dubium at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
Trifolium dubium on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network
Trifolium dubium from the Jepson Manual
Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 58
Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 150
Trifolium dubium description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.