Trifolium arvense var. arvense

Hare's-foot Clover

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect or ascending annual herb; stems 5–40 cm long, delicate, flexuose, covered with appressed or spreading silky hairs, rarely glabrous. Leaves palmately trifoliolate, petiolate to subsessile; leaflets linear-oblong to narrow-elliptic, 5–20 mm long, 2–5 mm wide, pubescent, entire or toothed at apex, mucronate; stipules membranous. Inflorescence many-flowered, axillary or terminal, ovoid or cylindric, 10–40 mm long, c. 10 mm wide, pedunculate; flowers sessile. Calyx to 4.5–7 mm long, covered with dense hairs, rarely glabrescent, tube cylindric-campanulate, 10-veined, throat open, teeth 2–5 times as long as tube, equal, acute, erect in fruit; corolla 3–6 mm long, white or pink, persistent; standard obtuse, narrow. Pod ovoid, c. 1 mm long, membranous, included or slightly exserted from calyx tube; seed 1, globose, c. 0.8 mm long, yellow.  Flowers mainly Sep.–Dec.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HFE, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *RobP, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, ACT. Native to Africa, Europe, temperate Asia. Common and well-established weed throughout most of Victoria.

A very variable species, particularly in terms of the habit, indumentum, size and shape of leaflets and length of calyx. Zohary & Heller (1984) recognize 2 varieties, apparently only the type variety occurring in Victoria; var. gracile (Thuill.) DC. differs in having a generally shorter (3–5 mm), glabrous to glabrescent calyx with teeth only 1–2 times as long as tube.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-12-18

Zohary M. & Heller, D. (1984). The genus Trifolium, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Trifolium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Trifolium arvense var. arvense in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Trifolium arvense var. arvense in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Far East present introduced
Victorian Alps present naturalised
Snowy Mountains present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory