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Crimson clover

Italian, Scarlet

Legtiminosae Trifolium incarnatum L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Crimson clover, native to the eastern Mediterranean area, was brought to the United States from Italy in 1819. It was near the turn of this century that it became recognized as a useful crop, especially in the Southeastern States and in the western parts of the Pacific States. It is grown mainly as an overwintering annual. Seeded in late summer it forms a dense rosette of leaves. In mild winter climates growth continues in winter, followed in early spring by the development of leafy flower stalks. Leaves are trifoliate with leaflets narrow at the base and broad at the terminals. Both leaves and stems are hairy. The flower heads are elongated and pointed, bright crimson in color, and contatin up to more than 100 florets. Crimson clover is excellent for winter and spring grazin in mild winter areas. It also yields good bay crops. Both as pasture and hay it is highly nutritious and palatable.

Last update October 27, 1997