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Upright Clover

Trifolium strictum

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.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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, 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 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:
60 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, grassland, meadows, rocky places.

Pink, 5 petals
Globular, compact flowerheads, 7 to 10mm in diameter. The flowers are pinkish-purple, 5 to 7mm across.
The fruit is a pod.
A hairless annual with trefoil leaves. The three leaflets are narrow, toothed and well-veined.
Other Names:
Hard Clover.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Trifolium strictum, also known as upright clover or hard clover, is a 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 60 cm (2 feet) 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 strictum is also used medicinally for its astringent and expectorant properties.


Upright clover, also known as Trifolium strictum, is a beautiful and useful plant that is native to Europe but is now found throughout the world. This clover species has a lot to offer and is a great addition to any garden. In this blog, we will explore the features and benefits of upright clover.

Appearance: Upright clover has delicate and attractive flowers that bloom from May to September. The flowers are a beautiful shade of pink and have a distinctive shape that makes them stand out in the garden. The plant is also known for its tall, upright growth habit, which makes it a great option for the back of a garden bed or as a stand-alone feature.

Benefits to the Soil: One of the most significant benefits of upright clover is its ability to improve soil health. This clover species is a nitrogen-fixing plant, meaning it helps to increase the nitrogen content in the soil. This is beneficial for other plants in the garden, as they will have access to more nitrogen, a critical nutrient for plant growth.

Benefits to the Environment: Upright clover is also beneficial to the environment, as it is an excellent source of food for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. These pollinators play a critical role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, as they help to pollinate other plants and flowers in the garden. By providing food for pollinators, you can help to create a more diverse and thriving garden ecosystem.

Low Maintenance: Another advantage of upright clover is its low maintenance nature. Unlike other plants, this clover species does not require regular watering or fertilizing. It is also relatively disease-resistant, making it an excellent option for gardeners who want a beautiful and low-maintenance garden.

Additionally, upright clover is also a valuable plant for agricultural purposes. It is often used as a cover crop or in rotation with other crops to improve soil health and reduce erosion. The plant's ability to fix nitrogen in the soil helps to improve the soil's fertility and overall structure, making it easier for other crops to grow.

In terms of wildlife, upright clover is also a popular food source for grazing animals such as cattle, sheep, and rabbits. The high protein content of the clover makes it a nutritious and desirable food source for these animals. By planting upright clover in pasture land, farmers can improve the health and wellbeing of their livestock.

Another benefit of upright clover is its versatility. This plant is suitable for a wide range of growing conditions, including full sun, partial shade, and various soil types. It is also relatively drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for gardeners in dry regions.

In summary, upright clover is a highly versatile and beneficial plant that offers numerous advantages to gardeners and farmers alike. Whether you're looking to improve soil health, attract pollinators, or provide food for livestock, upright clover is a great choice.

Another aspect of upright clover that is worth mentioning is its potential use in bioremediation. Upright clover has been shown to be effective in removing certain pollutants from the soil, such as heavy metals. This makes it a useful tool for cleaning up contaminated land and restoring the soil to a healthy state.

Furthermore, upright clover has potential medicinal uses as well. Historically, the plant has been used as a treatment for various ailments, including respiratory problems and digestive issues. Although more research is needed to fully understand its medicinal properties, upright clover is a promising candidate for further investigation in this field.

In terms of cultivation, upright clover is relatively easy to grow and care for. It is often grown from seed, which can be sown directly into the soil in the spring or autumn. The plant prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate a range of soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline. Once established, upright clover is low maintenance and requires minimal care, making it a great choice for busy gardeners.

In conclusion, upright clover is a highly valuable plant that offers a wide range of benefits to gardeners, farmers, and the environment. Whether you're looking to improve soil health, attract pollinators, or use it for bioremediation purposes, upright clover is a great choice.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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