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:
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Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
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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.
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.
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B.A. SorrieRoadside, piedmont of northern Moore Co., May 2015. MoorePhoto_non_natural
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