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Trifolium incarnatum

Trifolium incarnatum L.

Trifolium incarnatum L. var. elatius Gibelli & Belli

Crimson Clover

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusTrifolium“Three-leaved,” for the 3-leaf clusters
Speciesincarnatum“Flesh-colored” (???)

About plant names...

Crimson clover is a native of western and southern Europe that has become naturalized throughout much of North America, after its introduction here. Depending upon who you talk to, it is planted as natural fertilizer, planted as an ornamental (sometimes in lawns), or an evil invasive. Whatever. The flowers sure are pretty.

Here is a comparison among red, white, alsike, and crimson clovers:

 

Trifolium incarnatum (Crimson Clover)

5/25/2008 · Memphis, TN · By Tim Chandler

 
Trifolium repens

Trifolium hybridum
You are here
Trifolium incarnatum
Common Name

White Clover

Alsike Clover

Crimson Clover
Plant Plant stems are 4-16" (10-40 cm) long, but often lying on their sides, so these clovers are usually close to the ground 12-24" (30-60 cm) tall, typically somewhat smaller than red clover and larger than white clover. It has multiple hairless, fairly flexible stems 20" (50 cm) high.
Flowers On flower stalks 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long. Flowerheads are ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) around, rounded, white, sometimes pinkish ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, and may be pink on the bottom, grading to white on the top; or pink throughout. The shade of pink is lighter than with red clover Deep red, forming rounded conical flowerheads about 1" (2.5 cm) tall and ⅝" (1.7 cm) around. Flowering occurs during April to May.
Leaves

 

In groups of 3. Leaflets are oval, ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) long, with a slight indentation at the end. Each leaflet has a pale green “V” close to the base and slightly toothed leaf edges

 

In groups of three, each about ¾" (2 cm) long, and attached directly to the stem that supports the leaf cluster. Leaves are oval-shaped, with smooth-appearing edges that have tiny teeth, and no chevrons
Leaves are round or oval, in groups of three, each roughly at right angles to the others.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Waste ground, pastures, open fields, roadsides, railroads Moist meadows near woodlands, pastures, abandoned fields, and roadsides  
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Very common Common, but less so than red and white clovers  

 

Identification: Plants are up to 20" (50 cm) high. Like other clovers, leaves are round or oval, in groups of three, each roughly at right angles to the others. Also like other clovers, these plants have roots that work together with bacteria to trap atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to usable nutrition, allowing them to grow in nutritionally poor soils. They are sometimes intentionally planted to improve soil nutrition. Flowers are deep red, forming rounded conical flowerheads about 1" (2.5 cm) tall and ⅝" (1.7 cm) around. Flowering occurs during April to May.

Online References:

Trifolium incarnatum on Missouriplants.com

Trifolium incarnatum on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Trifolium incarnatum on Florida Nature

Trifolium incarnatum on UniProt

Trifolium incarnatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.

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Range:

About this map...