Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum)

Red Clover (T. pratense) is more common and very similar, and grows in most of the same places. The best way to tell the difference is by the leaves, which in Red Clover usually (but not always) show a chevron pattern but are unmarked in Alsike Clover; and by the color of the flowers, which in Alsike Clover is less magenta and more pale rosy pink, with young white flowers in the center of the head. In fact, it does look like something halfway between Red Clover and White Clover (T. repens), which may account for the specific name hybridus for a plant that is not a hybrid.

This plant grew in a meadow near Cranberry, where it was blooming in the middle of June.

Gray describes the genus and the species:


Calyx persistent, 5-cleft, the teeth usually bristle-form. Corolla mostly withering or persistent; the claws of all the petals, or of all except the oblong or ovate standard, more or less united below with the stamen-tube; keel short and obtuse. Tenth stamen more or less separate. Pods small and membranous, often included in the calyx, 1-6-seeded, indehiscent, or opening by one of the sutures. Tufted or diffuse herbs. Leaves mostly palmately (sometimes pinnately) 3-foliolate; leaflets usually toothed. Stipules united with the petiole. Flowers in heads or spikes. (Name from tres, three, and folium, a leaf.)

T. HYBRIDUM L. (ALSIKE C.) Resembling T. repens, but the stems erect or ascending, not rooting at the nodes; leaflets ovate, rounded at apex; flowers rose-tinted. Generally common. (Introd. from Eu.)


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