Also known as
Red Clover, Italian Clover, Napoleans, Scarlet Clover, German Clover, French Clover, Carnation Clover, Incarnate Clover
Trifolium incarnatum 050606 by Bernd Haynold (CC BY 2.5)
3 years to reach maturity
More images of Crimson Clover
Crimson Clover Overview
Trifolium incarnatum is known by the common names Crimson Clover or Italian clover amongst others. It is a herbaceous perennial from the Fabaceae family. Crimson Clover typically grows to between 20-50cm tall and it doesn't tend to branch much, producing hairy leaves in arrangements of three, termed trifoliate. Flowers are bright red in colour and produced in rounded clusters, these measure approximately 1.5cm across. This hardy plant is grown as a forage crop, extensively for pasturage, green manure and hay. It's great for livestock and enriching soil by fixing nitrogen, frequently used in crop rotation. Originating from much of Europe, Trifolium incarnatum has naturalised in many other locations, including Australia and parts of both North and South America. Italian Clover has many other uses, including extensive use in folk medicine, it is also great for pollinators, providing ample nectar.
How to harvest Crimson Clover
Pick flowers as required and collect seed as soon as it is ripe.
How to propagate Crimson Clover
Sow in situ from March onwards, they should germinate in a few weeks.
Division in spring.
Special features of Crimson Clover
Attracts useful insects
Other uses of Crimson Clover
Some species are useful in rock gardens or on banks, others in agriculture as they fix nitrogen in the soil. Attracts butterflies