Thursday, August 12, 2010

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Trifolium pratense is known by the common name Red Clover; another of the approximately five Trifolium species that grow in this area. This is a different species from Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum). Red Clover is pink; Crimson Clover is red. I’ve usually only seen this plant in roadside areas that are not tended; in Monroe in Walton County and along the roadside in Dawson County in north Georgia. I did see one plant growing in a lawn area in front of a commercial business in Monroe; it was a specimen plant that was allowed to complete its blooming before it was mowed. I regret not having stopped and photographing it.

The flowers are a dullish pink from a distance. However, examination of the individual flowerlets reveals that they are a delicate pink with a darker veining; th
ey are very pretty. The leaves of this species have a pale crescent pattern on the upper side.

A bud developing.

A flower head, not completely developed. The characteristic pale crescent patch on the leaf shape is visible in this photograph.

A close up of a completely developed flower head composed of many small individual flowerlets.

A close up on flowerlets showing the darker veining.

Trifolium pratense
(Red Clover) is native to Europe. It grows throughout the United States and Canada.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Trifolium pratense

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Alabama Plants: Trifolium pratense
- Wikipedia: Trifolium pratense

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

- Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens)

- Rabbitfoot Clover (Trifolium arvense)

- Arrowleaf Clover (Trifolium vesiculosum)

1 comment:

Cellobella said...

I see we share a passion for macro photography! I love your photos - they are beautiful.