Fabaceae (Pea Family)
A common perennial plant, growing to a height of 15 - 90 cm.
Distinguishing Features - Leaves: compound, with 3 broad leaflets, each 2 - 6.3 cm long; with a lighter, V-shaped pattern near the middle; upper 2 leaves usually close to head. Flowers: pink, 1.3 cm long, in egg-shaped heads >2.5 cm long, 1.3 - 3.8 cm wide; upper petal folded over 2 fused lower petals and lateral petals.
Native to Europe and Russia, from Arctic south to east Siberia; introduced to North Atlantic, throughout; in a wide variety of environments, fields, meadows, roadsides, riverbanks, vacant lots; also open forests, forest margins and field borders; preferring well-drained loam soil, but also adapted to wetter soils; widely planted here as a hay and pasture crop.
Red Clover is used by farmers in crop rotation to improve soil fertility, as it stores nitrogen in its root nodules.
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