Trifolium pratense - Red Clover

"Trifolium pratense is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It can fix Nitrogen."
"It is noted for attracting wildlife."
"Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.[PFAF]

USDA Flower Colour: Red
USDA Blooming Period: Late Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer [USDA-E-flora]


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

"Red clover is safe and effective herb with a long history of medicinal usage. It is commonly used to treat skin conditions, normally in combination with other purifying herbs such as Arctium lappa and Rumex crispus[254]. It is a folk remedy for cancer of the breast, a concentrated decoction being applied to the site of the tumour in order to encourage it to grow outwards and clear the body[254]. Flavonoids in the flowers and leaves are oestrogenic and may be of benefit in the treatment of menopausal complaints[254]."[PFAF]

Further Medicinal Usage

"It is indicated for debilitated individuals and children with spasmodic coughs, salivary gland congestion, pharyngeal inflammation and chronic skin eruptions. Red clover is specific for swollen hard nodes, especially for single nodes and a stiff neck with cramping in the sternomastoid muscles that is relieved by heat and massage." [HMHE]

"Admirable for malignant ulcers, scrofula, indolent sores, burns, whooping cough and various spasm, bronchial and renal conditions. The warm tea is very soothing to the nerves. J. Kloss, in "Back to Eden", gives a splendid formula for the above, Combine with equal parts of: Burdock (Arctium lappa),Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus). Red Clover can be used alone, or supported by many other effective herbs." [IHNA]


Flower Head
"Isoflavones (biochanin A, daidzein, formononetin,genisein, pratensein, trifoside); other flavonoids, including pectolinarin and kaempferol; volatile oil (containing furfural); clovamides (L-dopa-caffeic acid conjugates); coumarins (coumestrol,medicagol, coumarin); miscellaneous: a galactomannan, resins, minerals, vitamins, phytoalexins." [MHC]


Figures in grams (g) or milligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
0 Calories per 100g
Water : 81%
Protein: 4g; Fat: 0.7g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 2.6g; Ash: 2g;
Reference: [218] [PFAF]




"The plant makes a good green manure, it is useful for over-wintering, especially in a mixture with Lolium perenne[54]. Deep rooting, it produces a good bulk[87]. It is a host to 'clover rot' however, so should not be used too frequently[87]. It can be undersown with cereals though it may be too vigorous[87]. It is also grown with grass mixtures for land reclamation, it has good nitrogen fixing properties[200]." [PFAF]


"Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ. If the seed is in short supply it might be better to sow it in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Division in spring[238]." [PFAF]


  1. [CBIF PPIS] Trifolium pratense, Poisonous Plants Information System, Accessed Feb 15, 2015,
  2. [E-flora] Trifolium pratense, pratense&redblue=Both&lifeform=7 [Accessed: 12/1/2014 8:41:38 PM ]
  3. [PFAF] Trifolium pratense, Accessed Feb 15, 2015,
  4. [PNA] Trifolium pratense L. as a Potential Natural Antioxidant, Sanja Vlaisavljevic , Biljana Kaurinovic , Mira Popovic , Maja Djurendic-Brenesel , Bojana Vasiljevic , Dragoljub Cvetkovic and Sanja Vasiljevic, Molecules 2014, 19, 713-725

Page last modified on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:16 AM