Trifolium medium L. - Zigzag Clover.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Trifolium L.


Trifolium flexuosum Jacq.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial herbaceous plant. Root straight, many-headed, often developing long subterranean shoots. Stems 20-80 cm tall, straight or ascending, zigzag-like bent in nodes, glabrous or pubescent in upper part. Leaves ternate, leaf blades 1.5-6.0 cm long and 0.6-3.0 cm wide, elliptic to oval. Inflorescences solitary heads. Corolla fused in a tube up to 8-10 mm, persistent, bright red. Pod ovoid, scarious, dehiscent with one fissure, 1-seeded. Weight of 1,000 seeds is 0.68-0.73 grams. Plant with spring development type. Flowers in May - June, fruits in July - August. Self-incompatible, cross-pollinated plant. 2n=70, 78, 80, 84, 126.


European part of the former USSR (all regions, especially northern), Crimea, Caucasus, Kazakhstan (northwestern), West Siberia, southeastern coast of Baikal Lake.


In meadows, shrubberies, forest fringes, in light forests, sometimes among crops and abandoned fields in forest, less often in steppe zone, in mountains to the upper zone.

Economic value.

Valuable forage plant. Nutrient value as high as that of red clover. Noteworthy for testing under cultivation in forest-steppe and steppe zones. Winter-hardy, drough-resistant, high-yielding, propagates easily vegetatively. Characterized by longevity (5-7 years), lower requirements for habitat conditions. Grows normally on acid, sandy and alkaline soils.


Brezhnev DD., Korovina ON. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants of the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 376 p. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.194-221. (In Russian).
Minjaev NA., ed. 1981. Manual of Higher Plants of the Northwestern European Part of RSFSR. Leningrad. 376 p.
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).
Pavlov NV., ed. 1961. Flora of Kazakhstan. V.2. Alma-Ata. 515 p. (In Russian).
Polozhij AV., Malyshev LI., ed. 1994. Flora of Siberia. Fabaceae (Leguminosae). V.9. (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.

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