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Slender Trefoil

Trifolium micranthum

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, 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, 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:
15 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, lawns, meadows, roadsides, seaside, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Similar in appearance to Lesser Trefoil (Trifolium dubium) but with longer stalks and smaller, more open, darker yellow flowers. Between 2 to 6 flowers per head. Lesser Trefoil has up to 20 flowers per head.
Egg-shaped pods.
Slender Trefoil is similar in appearance to Lesser Trefoil but is smaller. Each leaf has 3 egg-shaped leaflets. The middle leaflet has a longer stalk than the side leaflets. Slender Trefoil is an annual plant.
Other Names:
Least Yellow Trefoil, Slender Hop Clover, Slender Suckling Clover, Small-flowered Clover.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Trifolium micranthum, also known as small-flowered clover, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Fabaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, and is often found in grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. It has a low-growing habit, with small, hairy leaves and produces small, white or pink flowers in the spring and summer. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, and it can tolerate a wide range of soil types. It can be propagated by seed or division. It is a popular plant for wildflower gardens, meadows, and as a ground cover. It is also used as a forage crop for livestock and wildlife, and it's hardy to USDA Zone 3.


Slender Trefoil, also known as Trifolium micranthum, is a species of clover that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This small, low-growing plant is a member of the legume family and is known for its delicate beauty and its ability to attract wildlife to the garden.

The Slender Trefoil plant is a trailing plant that typically grows to be about 4-6 inches tall and can spread to be up to 18 inches wide. Its leaves are small, oval-shaped, and are a vibrant green color. The plant produces small, yellow, pea-like flowers that bloom from spring to summer. These flowers are an important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths.

In addition to its attractive appearance, Slender Trefoil is also valued for its ability to help improve soil quality. Like other legumes, it has the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which helps to improve soil fertility and supports the growth of other plants. This makes it a great plant to include in a mixed border or in a wildflower meadow.

Slender Trefoil is also known for its versatility in the garden. It can be grown in a variety of soil types, including clay and sandy soils, and it is tolerant of both drought and damp conditions. It is also low-maintenance, making it a great choice for gardeners who want a beautiful and low-effort garden.

If you are looking for a small, attractive plant that is easy to care for and provides valuable support for pollinators, Slender Trefoil is definitely worth considering. This plant is available from many garden centers and can be easily grown from seed.

Slender Trefoil is also a great choice for those looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden. In addition to attracting pollinators, it is also a food source for a variety of animals, including rabbits, deer, and livestock. This makes it an important part of the food chain and a valuable addition to any garden that is designed to support wildlife.

Another great feature of Slender Trefoil is its ability to thrive in areas that have been disturbed or degraded. This makes it a great choice for planting in areas that have been disturbed by construction or that have been overgrazed. Its ability to grow quickly and easily helps to stabilize the soil, reducing erosion and helping to improve the overall health of the land.

Finally, it's worth noting that Slender Trefoil is also an important plant for maintaining the biodiversity of our planet. As a food source for pollinators and other wildlife, it helps to support a healthy ecosystem, and its ability to improve soil fertility helps to support the growth of other plant species. By including Slender Trefoil in your garden, you can play a role in helping to preserve the biodiversity of our planet and create a healthier, more sustainable environment.

Slender Trefoil is a beautiful, versatile, and important plant that has a lot to offer. Whether you are looking to attract pollinators, create a wildlife-friendly garden, or help improve the health of the land, Slender Trefoil is a great choice.

Another great aspect of Slender Trefoil is its use in gardening and landscaping. This plant can be used in a variety of ways, including as a groundcover, in rock gardens, and in containers. It can also be used as a filler plant in mixed borders, where its delicate beauty will complement other plants and add interest to your garden. Additionally, Slender Trefoil can be used as an edging plant, helping to define the boundaries of your garden and create a neat and tidy appearance.

In terms of care, Slender Trefoil is a very low-maintenance plant. Once established, it requires very little water and is quite drought tolerant. It can be trimmed back after flowering to promote a neat and tidy appearance, and it is also resistant to disease and pests. This makes it a great choice for gardeners who want a beautiful and low-effort garden.

Another advantage of Slender Trefoil is its adaptability. This plant is hardy in a range of temperatures and can grow in both sunny and partially shaded areas. It is also tolerant of a variety of soil types, making it a great choice for gardens that have soil conditions that are less than ideal.

Finally, Slender Trefoil is a great choice for those who are looking for an environmentally-friendly plant. As a member of the legume family, it is able to fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. It is also a great choice for gardens that are designed to be wildlife-friendly, as it provides food and habitat for a variety of pollinators and other animals.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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