Trifolium dubium Sibth. - Lesser Trefoil, Lesser Hop Trefoil.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Trifolium L.


Chrysaspis dubia (Sibth.) Desv., Chrysaspis dubia (Sibth.) E.H.Greene, Trifolium filiforme sensu auct., Trifolium filiforme L. var. dubium (Sibth.) Fiori & Paol., Trifolium filiforme L. subsp. dubium (Sibth.) Gams., Trifolium minus Sm., Trifolium praticola Sennen, Trifolium procumbens sensu auct., Trifolium procumbens L.

Morphology and biology.

Annual herbaceous plant. Taproot short, numerous adventitious roots develop in upper soil layer. Stems slender, 10-40 cm tall, prostrate or ascending, branched from the base, covered with sparse hairs. Stipules round at base, acuminate at apex. Leaf blades grey-green, obovate, incised at apex, narrow, 5-10 cm long. Terminal leaflet on longer petiolule. Inflorescences capitate, on long peduncles, with 5-15 yellow flowers. Flowers drooping after flowering, self-sterile. Pods one-seeded. Cross-pollinated by insects. Flowers and fruits in June - July. 2n = 28, 32.


European part of the former USSR: Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, central and southern European Russia. Single localities in the South Crimea.


Dry meadows, forest fringes and open forests, steppes, on sands, sometimes as weed in fields. Prefers light and poor soils.

Use and economic value.

Drought-resistant, suitable for use on calcareous and sandy soils. May be used in seed mixtures for hay in arid areas. Low productivity is a disadvantage.


Bobrov EG. 1987. Hop Clover - Chrysaspis Desv. In: Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. P.209-212. (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

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