E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Trifolium incarnatum L.
crimson clover (Italian clover)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #57370)

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Distribution of Trifolium incarnatum
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems 1 to several, erect, 20-80 cm tall, mostly unbranched, long-soft-hairy.
Alternate, palmately compound; leaflets 3, egg- to heart-shaped, 1-3 cm long, fine-toothed on the upper half; stipules egg-shaped to oblong, sheathing at the base, 1-2 cm long, strongly veined, reddish- or purple-margined.
Inflorescence a dense, cylindric or egg-shaped, terminal head of many pea-like flowers, the heads 2-6 cm long, lacking involucres but subtended by a single leaf; corollas crimson, 12-15 mm long, the banner pointy-tipped and longer than the wings and keel; calyces densely long-hairy, about 3/4 as long as the corollas, the tube ribbed, the teeth bristle-like.
Pods, about 2.5 mm long; seeds usually 1.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; rare in SW and SC BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Trifolium incarnatum var. elatius Gibelli & Belli

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References