Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Red Clover - Trifolium pratense   L.
Members of Fabaceae:
Members of Trifolium with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionThroughout the state, no doubt in every county.

Native to Europe; in N.A. throughout except the Far North.
AbundanceCommon to locally abundant, especially dominant in mountain meadows.
HabitatRoadsides, lawns and yards, fields, meadows, clearings, disturbed ground, crop fields.
See also Habitat Account for Exotic Invaded Habitats
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-November.
IdentificationRed Clover is one of our most widespread plants, familiar to nearly everyone. The stems grow 1-2 feet tall, with broadly elliptical or obovate leaflets. Each leaflet sports a chevron or triangular patch of pale green. The flowers are numerous in a large head, rose-pink or raspberry-rose. The flowers are an excellent nectar source for insects, especially for skippers.
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
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieRoadside, piedmont of northern Moore Co., May 2015. MoorePhoto_non_natural

View Mapping Selection Options
Select a source
Select an occurrence type