Red Clover

Common Names: Three-leaved grass, purple clover, or trefoil


Scientific Names:  Trifolium pratense



Picture Thanks to:  Henriette Kress.

Copyright © 1995-2003 Henriette Kress.


Appearance:  Red clover is from 1-3 feet, it is a perennial with many leafy branches and 3-parted leaves each bearing a distinctive light V-shaped marking.  There are 2 leaflets at the juncture of each branch, and all parts of the plant except flowers have fine hairs.  The flower heads are large, round, pea-like and often an inch across and set inside 2-3 leaves that form a crude calyx.  The flower head covers range form pale pink to a reddish purple and the center blossoms and the edges fading into rust red as they die. Habitat:  In California in meadows 6,000 feet or higher where there is or has been cattle or horse pasturing.  It is also found in AZ and NM above 7,000 feet or in rural areas where there’s plenty of moisture and mixed farming and livestock and fertilizer.  From Colorado to Utah and northward, it can be expected anywhere
Collecting: The tops, upper leaves, and blossoms should be turned frequently as they are dried otherwise they are prone to discoloration from fermentation or mold.

Medicinal Uses for Asthma:  Tea is made from the flowers to treat asthma and the flowers can also be smoked to relieve asthma.


Caution:  In autumn, red clover can appear normal but can contain many toxic alkaloids.