Trifolium alpestre L. - Alpine Clover.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Trifolium L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial herbaceous plant. Root thrust deep into the soil, with long branched subterranean shoots. Several stems, 15-20 cm tall, erect or ascending, usually unbranched, covered with adpressed hairs. Stipules large, lanceolate, hairy, adnate to petioles more than by half, ciliate at margins. Leaves mainly cauline, lower ones on long petioles, upper on short. Leaf blades lanceolate or narrow-elliptic, 1.5-6 cm long and 0.5-1.5 cm wide, acutate at apex, with lateral veins thinned toward margins, unevenly finely dentate at margins, more hairy beneath. Heads singular or in twos, surrounded by terminal leaves, subsessile or on short stipes, ovoid, 3-5 cm long, dense, many-flowered, dark red. Calyx with 20 thin veins, its tube about 6 mm long, pale green, hairy, calyx teeth subulate, ciliate. Corolla two-third fused, standard broadly ovate, wings and keel lanceolate, slightly smaller than standard. Pod ovoid, scarious, 1-seeded. Flowers in June - July, fruits in July - August.


European part of the former USSR (central and southern areas), upland Crimea, Caucasus (except for Western Transcaucasia).


In piedmont and middle mountain zones in dry meadows and steppes, among shrubberies sometimes reaching subalpine zone, on plain in dry meadows, forest fringes, light woodlands, among shrubberies.

Economic value.

May be used as forage plant (grazing and hay).


Brezhnev DD., Korovina ON. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants of the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 376 p. (In Russian).
Bobrov EG. 1987. Clover - Trifolium L. In: Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. P.195-208. (In Russian).
Bobrov EG. 1945. Clover - Trifolium L. In: Shishkin BK., ed. Flora URSS. V.11. P.189-261. (In Russian).
Hulten E., Fries M. 1986. Atlas of North European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. V.1-3. Konigstein: Koeltz Scientific Books.

© N.I.Dzyubenko, E.A.Dzyubenko

© Photo by E.A.Dzyubenko

Web design —
Kelnik studios