Red Clover

©Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

Six-spot Burnet moth on Red Clover

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Red Clover

Scientific name: Trifolium pratense
A familiar 'weed' of gardens, roadsides, meadows and parks, Red Clover has trefoil leaves and red, rounded flower heads. It is often used as fodder for livestock.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 40cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to October

About

Red Clover is a common plant of all kinds of grassy areas in the UK, from lawns to pastures, roadsides to meadows. It is sown as a fodder crop for livestock and has long been used in crop rotation systems because of its ability to fix nitrogen, enriching soils. The trefoil leaves are collected by Wood Mice and the flowers, which appear from May to October, are sort after by all kinds of bumblebees for their nectar.

How to identify

Like other clovers, the leaves of Red Clover have the familiar trefoil look with three green leaflets each bearing a white V-shaped marking. The pinky-red flowers are borne in rounded heads.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The nectar-rich flowers of Red Clover are a favourite of many species of bee, including the Common Carder Bee, Honeybee and Red-tailed Bumblebee.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.