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Alsike Clover

Trifolium hybridum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Also in this family:
Alpine Milk-vetch, 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, Haresfoot Clover, 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:
40 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, lawns, meadows, mountains, roadsides, scrub, towns, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
The lower white petals turn rosy pink with age, and then brown after pollination.
A pea-like seedpod.
Smooth and trefoil leaves with finely serrated margins. The leaves are similar to White Clover leaves but without any markings. The (often hollow) stems are tall and erect, unlike those of White Clover. White Clover is a more sprawling plant. Its stipules have slender tips.
Other Names:
Swedish Clover.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Trifolium hybridum, also known as Alsike clover or Swedish clover, is a perennial legume commonly used for forage, erosion control, and as a cover crop. It is native to Europe and Asia, but it is also grown in other parts of the world, including North America. Alsike clover has small, white or pink flowers and grows well in moist, cool climates. It is often used in pastures, meadows, and roadside plantings. It is tolerant of heavy grazing and can fix nitrogen in the soil, making it a valuable addition to crop rotations.


Alsike Clover: A Versatile and Nutritious Forage Crop

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) is a popular forage crop in temperate regions of the world, prized for its high nutritive value, versatility, and disease resistance. This hardy plant is a hybrid between red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (Trifolium repens) and is used in a variety of ways, including as a cover crop, pasture, and hay.


Alsike clover is an excellent source of protein and minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Its high nutritional value makes it a popular choice for livestock feed, especially dairy cows and horses. The plant is also high in antioxidants and has a good balance of essential amino acids, making it a nutritious option for human consumption as well.


Alsike clover is a versatile crop that can be grown in a variety of soils, from heavy clay to light sand. It is particularly well-suited to wet soils and can even tolerate short periods of flooding, making it an excellent option for low-lying areas. The plant is also highly adaptable to different climate zones and can be grown from northern Canada to the southern US.

In addition to being a nutritious forage crop, alsike clover also has several other uses. The plant is often used as a cover crop to help improve soil fertility and structure, reduce erosion, and control weeds. It is also used as a honey plant, producing a light, delicate honey with a mild, sweet flavor.

Disease Resistance

Alsike clover is known for its resistance to several common diseases and pests, including root rot and leaf spot. This disease resistance makes it a highly desirable crop for farmers and gardeners alike, as it requires less maintenance and inputs than other forage crops.


Alsike clover is a highly nutritious and versatile crop that is well-suited to a wide range of soils and climates. With its high nutritional value, versatility, and disease resistance, it is an excellent option for farmers, gardeners, and livestock owners alike. Whether you are looking for a forage crop for your livestock, a cover crop for your garden, or a honey plant for your bees, alsike clover is a great choice.

More Information

In addition to its other benefits, alsike clover also has several advantages for soil health. The plant's deep root system helps to break up hardpan layers in the soil, making it easier for water and air to penetrate and improving soil structure. The plant's nitrogen-fixing properties also make it an excellent choice for improving soil fertility. The nitrogen-fixing bacteria that live on the roots of alsike clover convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, providing a natural source of fertilizer for the soil.

In terms of planting and management, alsike clover is relatively easy to care for. The plant is well-suited to both no-till and conventional tillage systems and can be seeded using a drill, broadcast, or a combination of the two. It is generally planted in the spring or fall and can be mowed or grazed once it reaches a height of 4-6 inches. When grown as a pasture, alsike clover can last for several years with proper management, making it a cost-effective and sustainable option for livestock owners.

Overall, alsike clover is a valuable crop for farmers, gardeners, and livestock owners. Its high nutritional value, versatility, disease resistance, and soil health benefits make it a great option for a variety of uses. Whether you are looking for a forage crop, cover crop, honey plant, or a way to improve soil fertility, alsike clover is a great choice.

In addition to its uses as a forage crop and soil improver, alsike clover is also a popular option for wildlife habitat and erosion control. The plant's dense growth habit and deep root system help to stabilize the soil, reducing the risk of erosion. Its nutritious foliage and nectar also make it an important food source for a variety of wildlife species, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

Another advantage of alsike clover is its ability to provide forage for livestock even in challenging conditions. Unlike some other forage crops that may struggle in wet or poorly drained soils, alsike clover thrives in these conditions and can continue to provide high-quality forage even when other crops have failed. This makes it a valuable option for farmers and livestock owners in regions that are prone to heavy rainfall or flooding.

When it comes to weed control, alsike clover is often used as a cover crop in rotation with other crops, such as corn or soybeans, to help control weed populations. The dense growth habit and competitiveness of alsike clover help to shade out weeds and prevent them from establishing, reducing the need for chemical herbicides and improving soil health over time.

Alsike clover is a valuable and versatile crop that offers numerous benefits for farmers, gardeners, livestock owners, and the environment. Its high nutritional value, disease resistance, versatility, and soil health benefits make it a valuable option for a wide range of uses, from forage and honey production to wildlife habitat and erosion control. If you are looking for a sustainable and nutritious crop for your farm or garden, consider planting alsike clover this season.

It's also worth mentioning that alsike clover is often used in rotational grazing systems, providing high-quality forage for livestock while also improving soil health. The deep root system of the clover helps to break up compaction, while the nitrogen-fixing properties of the plant help to improve soil fertility. This makes it an excellent option for farmers and livestock owners who are looking to improve their pasture land and increase the productivity of their grazing systems.

In terms of seed production, alsike clover is relatively easy to grow and harvest. The plant is a self-pollinator and does not require cross-pollination from another variety. It is generally harvested in late summer or early fall, when the seeds are mature, and can be threshed using conventional methods.

Finally, it's important to note that alsike clover is a non-invasive species and is not known to cause any problems with invasive species in most regions. The plant is well-behaved and easy to control, making it a low-risk option for farmers and gardeners who are looking for a high-quality forage crop.

In conclusion, alsike clover is a valuable and versatile crop that offers numerous benefits for farmers, gardeners, livestock owners, and the environment. Whether you are looking for a forage crop, cover crop, honey plant, or a way to improve soil fertility and stability, alsike clover is a great choice. With its high nutritional value, disease resistance, versatility, and non-invasive nature, it's no wonder that this plant has become a popular option for a wide range of uses.


Alsike Clover filmed in the Wigan area of Lancashire at varying times between August and October 2022.


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