Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Family Leguminosae (Fabaceae)

Notable Features
Leaves: Clusters of three leaves sprout from slender, hairy stems. Leaves ovate*, rounded, hairy, paler green on the bottom, and marked by pale, whitish “chevrons,” or “V” shaped markings.
Flowers: Reddish purple flower heads appear April through September.
Size/ Shape: A small, low-growing weed that does not usually exceed 16 inches (42 centimeters) in height. Found along roadsides, pastures, fields, and waste areas.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

This plant can be found all over campus: on roadsides, coming out of rock edges, grassy, open areas, and at the edge of wooded areas and thickets. TOne of the easiest places to find it is on the northern edge of Chapel's Field.

The flowers and young leaves are edible and good additions to salads; however, they are difficult to digest in large quantities when eaten raw. Therefore, the flowerheads and young leaves also make an excellent cooked green once boiled for 10 to 15 minutes, or even just soaked in salty water for a few hours. The dried flowerheads make an excellent addition to tea, and dried flowerheads and seeds can be ground into a fine flour.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.