Red clover

Herbs profile

  • Latin Name: Trifolium pratense
  • Tri: lat. three
  • Folium: lat. leaf
  • Pratum: lat. meadow
  • Family: Butterflyflowers/Fabaceae
  • Fodder type: Legumes
Red clover - Trifolium pratense

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

The meadow clover (Trifolium pratense), also called red clover, is a plant species of the genus clover (Trifolium) in the subfamily Faboideae within the family of leguminous plants.

The red clover has a strong taproot and an angular, often red overgrown stem with alternate, three-part leaves. The individual leaflets are ovate, each with an arrow-shaped white spot on the upper side.

The more or less purple red butterfly blossoms are grouped in heads. They are pollinated by nectar and pollen collecting bees, bumble bees and butterflies. The leaves perform sleeping movements and fold at night.

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Occurrence of red clover

Preference is given to fresh, clayey, deep soils in meadows and fields from the plain to the mountains.

Effect of red clover

Red clover is a very important forage plant, which is also very adaptable due to its symbiosis with nodule bacteria and grows back quickly. The feed value of clover hay is very high, like that of most papilionaceous plants. Too high a proportion of clover in green fodder can cause various diseases in livestock.

Among the ingredients, the isoflavonoids are particularly noteworthy, which as phytoestrogens have positive effects on menopausal symptoms in humans. However, too high a proportion in the meadows leads to an oversupply of crude proteins in the animal, which can lead to metabolic and fertility problems.


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