Red clover is the most widely grown of the true clovers. It is believed native to the Eastern Mediterranean region. It was widely cultivated in Europe before the settlement of America by Europeans and was brought here by the early colonists. It is now most extensively grown from the edge of the Great Plains east to the Atlantic and west of the Rocky Mountains. In the Southeast it is grown somewhat as a winter annual.
The plant is an herbaceous perennial with a number of leafy stems rising from a crown. Leaves and stems are pubescent. Leaves are trifoliate with leaflets near round to oblong and a half ineb or more across. Stems reach 2 to 3 feet under favorable conditions and bear at the terminals the rose to magentia flower heads comprised of 100 or more individual flowers. The plants are highly nutritious and palatable both as pasture and hay. Acreage in red clover in the United States is estimated at 8 to 10 million.