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Haresfoot Clover

Trifolium arvense

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Also in this family:
Alpine Milk-vetch, Alsike Clover, Birdsfoot, Birdsfoot Clover, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bithynian Vetch, Bitter Vetch, Black Broom, Black Medick, Bladder Senna, Broad Bean, Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea, Bur Medick, Burrowing Clover, Bush Vetch, Clustered Clover, Common Broom, Common Gorse, Common Laburnum, Common Restharrow, Common Vetch, Crimson Clover, Crown Vetch, Dragon's Teeth, Dwarf Gorse, Dyer's Greenweed, False Acacia, Fine-leaved Vetch, Fodder Vetch, Garden Lupin, Garden Pea, Goat's Rue, Grass Vetchling, Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Greenweed, Hairy Tare, Hairy Vetchling, Hairy-fruited Broom, Hop Trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch, Hungarian Vetch, Kidney Vetch, Knotted Clover, Large Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil, Lucerne, Marsh Pea, Meadow Vetchling, Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot Trefoil, Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea, Narrow-leaved Vetch, Nootka Lupin, Norfolk Everlasting Pea, Orange Birdsfoot, Petty Whin, Purple Milk-vetch, Purple Oxytropis, Red Clover, Reversed Clover, Ribbed Melilot, Rough Clover, Russell Lupin, Sainfoin, Scorpion Senna, Scottish Laburnum, Sea Clover, Sea Pea, Sickle Medick, Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil, Slender Tare, Slender Trefoil, Small Melilot, Small Restharrow, Smooth Tare, Spanish Broom, Spanish Gorse, Spiny Restharrow, Spotted Medick, Spring Vetch, Strawberry Clover, Suffocated Clover, Sulphur Clover, Tall Melilot, Toothed Medick, Tree Lupin, Tuberous Pea, Tufted Vetch, Twin-headed Clover, Two-flowered Everlasting Pea, Upright Clover, Upright Vetch, Western Clover, Western Gorse, White Broom, White Clover, White Lupin, White Melilot, Wild Liquorice, Wood Vetch, Yellow Oxytropis, Yellow Vetch, Yellow Vetchling, Zigzag Clover
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, roadsides.

White, 5 petals
2-3cm rosy-white spike covered in silky hairs, looks like a hare's paw (hence its common name).
Pods which are usually obscured by the hair that covers the flowers.
Leaves are trifoliate meaning they are divided into 3 leaflets. The stalkless and slender leaflets are finely toothed.
Other Names:
Calf Clover, Hairy Clover, Oldfield Clover, Pussy Clover, Rabbitfoot Clover, Stone Clover.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Trifolium arvense, also known as hare's-foot clover or rabbit's-foot clover, is a annual or perennial plant in the family Fabaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia and is found in grassland and meadow habitats. The plant has pink or purple flowers that bloom in the summer. It grows to be about 30 cm (1 foot) tall and prefers well-drained, moist soil. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, and it is also used as a natural dye and as a cover crop. Trifolium arvense is also used medicinally for its astringent and expectorant properties.


Haresfoot Clover: A Common but Valuable Plant

Trifolium arvense, commonly known as Haresfoot Clover, is a widespread and abundant plant species that is often overlooked for its ecological and economic value. Despite its widespread presence in agricultural and natural habitats, Haresfoot Clover is a valuable plant species with multiple uses and benefits.

Ecological Benefits

Haresfoot Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant species, meaning it can help to improve soil fertility by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use for growth. This makes it an important plant for farmers and gardeners looking to improve soil quality and reduce their dependence on synthetic fertilizers. Additionally, Haresfoot Clover provides a valuable food source for pollinators and other wildlife, making it a valuable addition to any wildlife garden or wildflower meadow.

Economic Benefits

Haresfoot Clover is also an important plant species for livestock farmers, as it is a nutritious and palatable forage crop for grazing animals. It can be used as a supplementary food source for cattle, sheep, and horses, and its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil makes it an ideal crop for improving the overall quality of pastureland. In addition, Haresfoot Clover is an important plant species for beekeepers, as its flowers provide a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees.

Cultivation and Management

Haresfoot Clover is a hardy plant species that is well adapted to a variety of soils and growing conditions. It is a low-maintenance crop that can be grown with minimal inputs, making it an ideal choice for farmers and gardeners looking to reduce their environmental impact. However, to ensure optimal growth and productivity, it is important to manage Haresfoot Clover carefully, avoiding overgrazing and ensuring adequate soil fertility.


Haresfoot Clover is a common and abundant plant species that is often overlooked for its ecological and economic value. Whether you are a farmer, gardener, or wildlife enthusiast, this versatile plant species is well worth considering for its many benefits and uses. So next time you see Haresfoot Clover growing in the wild, take a moment to appreciate this valuable and versatile plant species.

More Information

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, Haresfoot Clover also has potential as a medicinal plant. Research has shown that Haresfoot Clover has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antithrombotic properties, which makes it a promising candidate for use in the development of new medicinal products.

Furthermore, Haresfoot Clover is also a valuable plant species for restoring degraded or damaged habitats. It is a hardy plant species that can quickly colonize bare or disturbed soils, helping to stabilize the soil and improve soil quality. This makes it an important tool for land managers and conservationists working to restore damaged or degraded habitats.

It is also worth mentioning that Haresfoot Clover has a long history of use in traditional agriculture and medicine. In many cultures, Haresfoot Clover was used as a herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, respiratory infections, and skin conditions. This traditional knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation and is still used by many people today.

Haresfoot Clover is a versatile and valuable plant species with many uses and benefits. Whether you are a farmer, gardener, conservationist, or herbalist, this plant species is well worth considering for its ecological, economic, and cultural value. So, next time you see Haresfoot Clover growing in the wild, take a moment to appreciate this amazing and useful plant species.


Haresfoot Clover filmed at Southport in Lancashire on the 15th July 2023.


Music credits
As I Figure - Latinesque by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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