Forage Identification: Alsike clover

Department of Plant Sciences

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum L.)

Short lived perennial adapted to southern Canada, northern US states, and higher elevations in the western US. Prefers cool and moist habitats. It tolerates acid, alkaline, low fertility and poorly drained soils, but not drought.


Alsike clover

Growth Habitat:
Perennial, erect, grows 24 to 36 inches tall.
Deep taproot.

Alsike clover

Plant Characteristics: 
Perennial, semi-erect, short-lived, grows 24 to 36 inches tall. 

Leaves are palmately trifoliolate with finely serrated leaf margins and prominent veins. Leaves are smooth with no "watermarks." Stipules are sharply pointed. White to pink flowers, tend to be bi-color. Taproot. 

Alsike leaf

Seed Characteristics:
Very small and round in shape. Apple-green to greenish-black, browning with age

Alsike seed

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Pink and white flowers.Long(12 inches) petiole that comes from crown.Smooth leaves with serrated edges that are usually trifoliate.No "watermark" on leaf.

Alsike clover

Primary Uses:
Hay and pasture. Usually in mixtures with grasses and other legumes, such as red clover.

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