alsike clover

(Trifolium hybridum)

Conservation Status
alsike clover
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


SNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Alsike clover is a creeping, perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a taproot.

The stems are light green and hairless or nearly hairless. They tend to fall over with age, usually from rain or wind, but do not root at the nodes.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on long, hairless leaf stalks. The leaflets are elliptical, hairless, and to ¾ long and wide. They have no markings on the upper surface and are not notched or pointed at the tip. The margins are finely-toothed.

The inflorescence is several globular, head-like clusters borne on hairless stalks rising from the upper leaf axils. The flower heads are ½ to ¾ across. Each head has up to 50 flowers.

The flowers are pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a banner, 2 wings, and a keel formed by two petals fused together at the tip. Each individual flower is borne on a short stalk. The petals are white or pale pink to pinkish-white. They gradually turn darker pink as they mature. Later they turn brown.

The fruit is a seed pod.




1 to 2½


Flower Color


Pale pink to pinkish-white, turning dark pink to almost red.


Similar Species


Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) stems are densely hairy. The petals are crimson red.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) stems are hairy. The leaflets have a pale V-shaped marking on the upper surface. The petals are pink or magenta. The individual flowers are stalkless.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a much smaller plant, 4 to 10 tall. The stems are creeping, not ascending, and they root at the nodes. Flowers and leaves are borne on separate stalks. The leaflets have have a pale, crescent-shaped marking on the upper surface and may be notched at the tip. The flower heads are more white.


Disturbed sites




May to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.




Native to Europe, western Asia, the Caucasus, and Morocco. Introduced and naturalized in North America.





  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  


Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae  


  Genus Trifolium (clovers)  
  Subgenus Trifolium  
  Section Vesicastrum  

Papilionoideae is an acceptable alternative name for the family Faboideae. Most sources use Faboideae.

Species epithet
The species name (epithet) hybridum means “hybrid”. When Carl Linnaeus first described this species he thought it was a hybrid between Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (Trifolium repens). He was mistaken.


Subordinate Taxa


alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum var. anatolicum)

alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum var. elegans)

alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum var. hybridum)




Amoria elegans

Amoria hybrida

Trifolium elegans


Common Names



alsike clover

hybrid clover

Swedish clover









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Alfredo Colon

    alsike clover      


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    alsike clover      

Flower Head

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  Trifolium hybridum
Matt Lavin
  Trifolium hybridum  

Introduced perennial herb, stems ascending, usually much less than 0.5 m tall, leaflets serrate at least distally, terminal leaflet sessile like the lateral leaflets (which is true of all Trifolium species), flowering peduncles about 15-25 mm long, pod 1-few-seeded, inconspicuous and concealed by the calyx, fruiting head retains the faded dry petals (which is true of all Trifolium species), common in mountain big sagebrush steppe where well grazed and roadsides in open montane understory. Similar to Trifolium repens, which usually has whitish petals and flowering heads that arise from axils of prostrate stems.




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Other Videos
  Alsike Clover

Uploaded on Feb 8, 2012

Alsike Clover

  Clover Identification - Thistle Ridge Stables
Laura Kelland-May

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Knowing the difference between difference types of clovers could save your horse's life. Learn how to identify white, red and alsike clover.




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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

alsike clover  

Afton State Park

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Blaine Preserve SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Butterwort Cliffs SNA

Cambria WMA

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chippewa Prairie

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Jay Cooke State Park

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Keller Regional Park

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lester Lake SNA

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lutsen SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

McCarthy Beach State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Rapids Lake Unit

Moose Lake State Park

Myhr Creek Ridge SNA

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Phelps Lake WMA

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Potato Lake SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake State Park

Ripley Esker SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seven Springs WMA

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Tiedemann WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley WMA: North Unit

Tympanuchus Prairie

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Wild Indigo SNA

William O’Brien State Park

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Regional Park





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