Trifolium pratense 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Leguminosae

Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Red Clover
Trifolium borysthenicum Gruner
Trifolium bracteatum Schousb.
Trifolium bracteatum Willd
Trifolium expansum Waldst. & Kit.
Trifolium fontanum Bobrov
Trifolium lenkoranicum (Grossh.) Roskov
Trifolium pratense Waldst. & Kit. ssp. expansum Ponert
Trifolium pratense ssp. frigidum
Trifolium pratense L. ssp. spontaneum Willk.
Trifolium sativum (Schreb.) Boenn.
Trifolium sativum L. ssp. praecox Bobrov
Trifolium ukranicum Opperman
Taxonomic Notes: Trifolium pratense L. belongs to section Trifolium and is a secondary wild relative of the cultivated crop crimson clover (T. incarnatum L.), as well as a primary wild relative of cultivated T. pratense (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2010).

It has eight subspecies that are native to Europe: T. pratense ssp. baeticum (Boiss.) C. Vicioso, T. pratense ssp. expansum (Waldst. & Kit.) Hausskn., T. pratense ssp. kotulae (Pawl.) Soják, T. pratense ssp. maritimum (Zabel) Rothm., T. pratense ssp. nivale (W.D.J. Koch) Arcang., T. pratense L. ssp. pratense, T. pratense ssp. sativum (Schreb.) Schübl. & G.Martens, and T. pratense ssp. semipurpureum (Strobl) Pignatti. There are a further four varieties of T. pratense that are native to Europe: T. pratense var. americanum Harz, T. pratense var. frigidum Gaudin, var. T. pratense maritimum Zabel, and T. pratense var. pratense.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-07-26
Assessor(s): Lopez Poveda, L.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Trifolium pratense is listed as Least Concern. It is widespread and known to occur in protected areas and Botanical Gardens worldwide. It is appreciated as a cultivated plant, for food and medicinal uses.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed worldwide. It is native in Eurasia and northern Africa and widely naturalized in temperate regions. It has been introduced in experimental nurseries in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India (Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Altay, Amur, Buryatiya, Central European Russia, Chechnya, Chita, Dagestan, East European Russia, Irkutsk, Kabardino-Balkariya, Kamchatka, Karachaevo-Cherkessiya, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Kuril Is., Magadan, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Primoryi, Sakhalin, Severo-Osetiya, South European Russia, Stavropol, Tuva, West Siberia, Yakutiya); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan
Argentina; Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia); Bahamas; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Ethiopia; Faroe Islands; Guatemala; Iceland; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Lebanon; Nepal; New Zealand (Antipodean Is., Chatham Is., Kermadec Is., North Is., South Is.); Peru; Philippines; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Syrian Arab Republic; United States (Alabama, Aleutian Is., Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming); Uruguay; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):6450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size of the species is not known.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Trifolium patulum is a perennial herb which occurs in rocky woodland and scrub. It has been reported from very steep mountainsides and in association with Abies, Acer pseudoplatanus, Carpinus betulus, Coronilla, Corylus avellana, Cotinus cogygria, Fraxinus ornus and Juniperus oxycedrus.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The young leaves are harvested before the plant comes into flower, and are used in salads, soups etc. On their own they can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach (Launert 1981). The seeds are reported as containing trypsin inhibitors (Duke and Ayensu 1984). These can interfere with certain enzymes that help in the digestion of proteins, but are normally destroyed once the seed has sprouted. Red clover is safe and effective herb with a long history of medicinal usage.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is known to occur in protected areas throughout its range. Seeds have been collected as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project and by the United States National Plant Germplasm System Collection. There are 45 collections in Botanical Gardens worldwide.

Citation: Lopez Poveda, L. 2012. Trifolium pratense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T174713A20156449. . Downloaded on 20 September 2017.
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