Red Clover

©Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

Six-spot Burnet moth on Red Clover

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Red clover

Scientific name: Trifolium pratense
A familiar 'weed' of gardens, roadsides, meadows and parks, red clover has trefoil leaves and red, rounded flower heads. It is often used as fodder for livestock.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 40cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to October

About

Red clover is a common plant of all kinds of grassy areas in the UK, from lawns to pastures, roadsides to meadows. It is sown as a fodder crop for livestock and has long been used in crop rotation systems because of its ability to fix nitrogen, enriching soils. The trefoil leaves are collected by wood mice and the flowers, which appear from May to October, are sought after by all kinds of bumblebees for their nectar.

How to identify

Like other clovers, the leaves of red clover have the familiar trefoil look with three green leaflets each bearing a white V-shaped marking. The pinky-red flowers are borne in rounded heads.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The nectar-rich flowers of red clover are a favourite of many species of bee, including the common carder bee, honeybee and red-tailed bumblebee.