Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Suckling Hop Clover - Trifolium dubium   Sibthorp
Members of Trifolium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
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AuthorSibthorp
DistributionThroughout the state, but less frequent in the Mountains.

Native of Europe; in N.A. essentially throughout the U.S. and southern Canada.
AbundanceFrequent to common, except uncommon in the Mountains; especially common in the Coastal Plain.
HabitatDry to mesic soil of roadsides, clearings, pastures, fields, yard weed, cemeteries, vacant lots, disturbed ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting February-October.
IdentificationSuckling Hop Clover is a short, sprawling plant with small heads of tiny yellow flowers. The standard has no or indistinct diagonal veins versus 5 distinct ones in Low Hop Clover (T. campestre), and the heads have 10-15 flowers (vs. 20-30 or so flowers in that species). Both species are common in the state, so you have ample opportunity to check out the field marks and learn to distinguish them.
Taxonomic CommentsTrifolium is a large genus of some 240-250 species globally, mostly north-temperate zone. Most are readily recognized as a clover by their 3 broad leaflets and globular to hemispherical head of densely-packed flowers. Flowers vary from white to pink, and red; the hop clovers have tiny yellow flowers. Some species were introduced for their forage value for livestock, others hitched a ride with hay, packing material, etc. Our two native species -- T. carolinianum and T. reflexum -- have suffered great loss of habitat and are now rare.
Other Common Name(s)Little Hop Clover
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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