Standardized: red clover
Trifolium pratense L.
Plant Family: Fabaceae
Red clover is a short-lived herbaceous perennial plant that grows to a height of 15 to 36 inches (30 to 90 cm). It is easy to recognize red clover by its fine leafy stems, its leaves of three, and its rose-pink oval flower heads. When the crop is harvested for use as an herb (or for hay), the plants are cut during early bloom.
A field of red clover is an important resource for bumble bees. Honey bees have a shorter proboscis that cannot reach into the long flowers of red clover, so they will leave red clover to the bumble bees. Since bumble bees nest in the ground, it is to a grower's advantage to leave some wild areas near the planting of clover. Honey bees have some influence on seed yield, but bumble bees ensure a good seed crop.
A pound (450 g) of seed is enough to sow an eighth of an acre (about 400 square meters) of red clover.
Red clover seeds are for growing, not for eating or for use in herbal preparations. You can grow an abundant supply of this herb from seed with very little effort. The sprouts are quite good and can be used in most dishes.
Red clover should be planted in moist soils that do not flood. Land that dries out easily should not be planted red clover, a heavy user of rain or irrigation water. Red clover prefers an alkaline soil.
Don't gather your clover from a farmer's field; grow your own or buy from reliable sources. Most farmers treat their clover fields with pronamide (Kerb) to kill other plants; clover treated with Kerb is not safe for human or animal consumption for 120 days after application.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.