Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Crimson Clover - Trifolium incarnatum   L.
Members of Fabaceae:
Members of Trifolium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state, with some gaps.

Native of Europe; in N.A. mostly ME to OH and MO, south to FL and TX; scattered elsewhere.
AbundanceGenerally uncommon, to locally frequent; this species is not an aggressive colonizer. Often planted in roadside stabilization projects and in roadside beautification seed-mixes, but rarely tends to escape from such plant beds.
HabitatRoadsides, fields, cropfields, meadows.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-October.
IdentificationCrimson Clover is robust, usually multi-stemmed, and reaches 1.5 feet tall. The leaflets are broad. The flowers are deep red or crimson, in an elongate inflorescence.
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)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieRoadside at powerline, Bladen County, May 2018. BladenPhoto_non_natural
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