6,00 zł – 14,00 zł
Perennial plant with pink flowers. It is forage for long-hypopharynx insects, mainly bumblebees. It grows well in most of the grounds, but prefers light places with fertile soils and a neutral pH. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
Polish name: red clover, meadow clover
Latin name: Trifolium pratense
Family: legumes Fabaceae
Status in Poland: the plant is permanently established in Poland
Red clover is a low, popular, perennial plant.
Aboveground shoots branched, erect or semi-erect, usually tomentosed and soft to the touch, often reddish tinted.
Single clover leaflets are characterized by a spotted pattern, and an ovate entire-margin blade. Usually attached to the petiole, bracts are membranous, ciliated at the base, and end subulate.
The flower is papilionaceous, bisexual, fivefold, and with fused sepals. It has a tubular slightly hairy calyx with 10 nerves with a ring of hairs inside, and a papilionaceous corolla typical of the Fabaceae family, usually red, maroon or dark pink.
The fruits of this plant are single-seed, rarely two-seed pods 1.5-4 mm long, and a maximum width of 1 mm.
Seeds fine to 2mm in diameter, deeply dormant, multi-colored, spherical and very hard.
Meadow clover (red clover) prefers light and warm positions, but it tolerates partial shade, as befits a species that grows also in the wild in loose, bright forests.
It copes best on fertile, moderately moist, neutral or slightly acidic soils. Due to the thin, but numerous and strong roots, it copes well on compacted soils that are too heavy for other crops, significantly loosening them.
It is best to sow in April or May, after the last ground frost.
Modern farmers use red clover in crop rotation of meadow-arable or root-meadow-arable crops, sowing as undersown together with spring cereals, after that keeping in pasture or hay meadow form for 2-3 years after root crops, rape, winter wheat, or sugar beet, and before winter wheat.
However, it should be remembered that a representative of the legume family is a living breeding ground of pathogens and pests infecting other plants of this family, like vegetable and forage, and ornamental, and honey plants. Therefore, avoid sowing it after peas, soybeans, beans, vetches, bird’s-foot trefoils, medicks, lupines, bird’s-foots, sainfoins, white clover, and grass pea.
Red clover is the national flower of Denmark, and Vermont state in USA.
Red clover is mainly pollinated by bumblebees. Neither the honey bee nor most solitaries reach the pollen and nectar of the plant with their hypopharynxs. However, if other forages are scarce, they can bite into the inflorescence, and then into the side of the corolla of a single flower to rob nectar. However, this behavior does not lead to the seed formation. This was the reason why the red clover did not form seeds in the 19th century in the Antipodes because bees were brought there but not European bumblebees.
In exceptionally favorable weather, some breeds of honey bee can produce up to 100 or even 200 kg of honey per hectare of red clover, but usually honey is not produced at all from this particular clover.