Red clover: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on red clover

Trifolium pratense, is an herbaceous, short-lived perennial plant and a member of the Fabaceae family.

Red clover varies greatly in size—its height can range from roughly 8 inches to 2 1/2 feet. It produces alternate, trifoliate (with three leaflets) leaves. The leaflets are green with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf; they measure roughly 15–30 mm long and 8–15 mm broad. The petiole (leafstalk) is 1–4 cm long, with a pair of basal stipules.

Red clover flowers are produced in a dense inflorescence and appear dark pink with a paler base, they are 12–15 mm long.

common names & nomenclature
Red clover's genus name—Trifolium—is in reference to the three leaflets on each leaf.

Also known as:
red clover

Red Clover, sweet nectar for bees
Red clover: Where in the World
habitat and range for red clover

Trifolium pratense is native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa, but planted and naturalized in many other regions.

Red clover: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting red clover

Red clover grows in meadows, pastures and grassy areas in full sun.

Prefers a moist, well-drained, medium to heavy loam soil.

Pre-soak the red clover seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow directly into the garden soil during the spring. If you have a scarce quantity of seed it might be better to sow it in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Mature plants may also be propagated by division in spring.

The plant flowers and leaves are normally harvested and dried for use as it comes into flower. Seeds would be collected after flowering.

Store dried red clover flowers, red clover seeds and other plant parts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.