Sp. Pl. 768 (1753) APNI
Erect or decumbent perennial herb; stems numerous, 40–100 cm long, simple or branched, sparingly hairy to glabrous. Leaves palmately trifoliolate, short- to long-petiolate; leaflets elliptic to obovate or suborbicular, mostly 30–60 mm long, 10–35 mm wide, appressed-hairy on both or just lower surface, sometimes spotted, apex acute, obtuse or retuse, margins virtually entire; stipules adnate to petioles, membranous, veined, hairy or glabrescent. Inflorescence many-flowered, terminal, globose or ovoid, 20–30 mm long, 20–30 mm wide, solitary or paired, usually sessile; flowers sessile. Calyx c. 7 mm long, tube cylindric-campanulate, 10-veined, throat narrowed by an annular thickening in fruit, teeth unequal, hairy, often reddish, lower tooth about twice as long as tube, others about equal to tube, blunt, erect in fruit; corolla 15–18 mm long, pink to purple, persistent; standard notched, longer than wings and keel. Pod ovoid, 2–4 mm long, included in calyx tube; seed 1, oblong-ovoid, c. 1.5 mm long, yellow, brown or violet, tuberculate. Flowers mainly Oct.–May.
*CVU, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised WA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Native to Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa. Widely cultivated world-wide and an occasional weed in Victoria, mostly in higher rainfall areas.
Trifolium pratense is a very polymorphic species. Zohary & Heller (1984) tentatively recognize 6 varieties based mainly on the indumentum and the sizes of plants and their leaflets and inflorescences. Using these criteria, most of the Victorian material examined (and that of other States) falls within var. sativum Schreb., although there is a large degree of variation and intermediates do occur.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||naturalised|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||naturalised|
|Northern Inland Slopes||present||naturalised|
|East Gippsland Lowlands||present||naturalised|
|East Gippsland Uplands||present||naturalised|
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|