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Large Trefoil

Trifolium aureum

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, 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:
50 centimetres tall
Grassland, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Golden yellow flowers, later turning brown. The inflorescence is round in shape and long stalked (up to 2cm long). 10 stamens. The flowers are similar to those of Hop Trefoil (Trifolium campestre) but slightly larger.
The fruit is a two-seeded, pea-like pod.
The leaves are trefoil (3 leaflets). The leaflets are shallowly toothed and stalkless. Annual.
Other Names:
Golden Clover, Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Yellow Clover.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Trifolium aureum, also known as yellow clover or golden clover, is a small, low-growing perennial herb in the pea family (Fabaceae) native to Europe and Asia. It is commonly found in grasslands, pastures, and along roadsides. The plant has small, yellow flowers and trifoliate leaves. It is often used as a forage crop for livestock and as a cover crop for soil conservation. It is also a popular forage for honey bees and other pollinators. It is a short-lived perennial, and it is known for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, it can also be used in a mixture with other clovers to extend the period of forage production. It can be distinguished by its bright yellow flowers which are quite striking among the green field.


Large Trefoil, Trifolium aureum: A Beautiful Wildflower for Your Garden

Trifolium aureum, also known as Large Trefoil, is a beautiful wildflower that is native to Europe and Asia. This wildflower is a member of the pea family and is known for its attractive yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer months. The Large Trefoil is a great addition to any garden, as it is easy to grow and maintain, and provides a stunning display of color for a long period of time.

The Large Trefoil is a herbaceous plant that grows to a height of about 50 cm. It has a dense rosette of leaves that are comprised of three leaflets, which gives the plant its name "Trifolium" which means three-leaved. The leaves of the Large Trefoil are dark green in color, and are covered with fine hairs that make them look silky. The plant produces clusters of yellow, pea-like flowers that are about 2 cm in diameter. The flowers of the Large Trefoil are very attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, which makes it a great plant to add to your garden if you are interested in attracting wildlife.

One of the best things about the Large Trefoil is how easy it is to grow and maintain. This wildflower is quite hardy and can withstand a wide range of conditions, including drought, poor soil, and heavy winds. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade, and can be propagated by seed or by division. If you live in a climate that is particularly hot and dry, it is best to grow the Large Trefoil in a shaded area, as the leaves can become scorched in full sun.

In addition to its beauty and ease of care, the Large Trefoil is also a great plant for erosion control. The plant has a strong root system that helps to hold the soil in place, making it a great choice for planting on slopes or along river banks. Additionally, the Large Trefoil is a nitrogen-fixing plant, which means that it helps to improve the soil by adding nitrogen to it. This makes it a great plant for improving the soil in your garden, and for providing food for other plants.

The Large Trefoil, Trifolium aureum, is a beautiful wildflower that is a great addition to any garden. It is easy to grow and maintain, and provides a stunning display of yellow flowers that are attractive to pollinators. Additionally, it is a great plant for erosion control and soil improvement. If you are looking for a wildflower that will bring a touch of beauty and color to your garden, be sure to consider the Large Trefoil!

In addition to its ornamental value, the Large Trefoil has also been used for various medicinal purposes throughout history. The plant is rich in compounds such as flavonoids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The leaves of the plant can be made into a tea or tincture and used to treat a variety of conditions, such as digestive problems, skin irritation, and respiratory issues.

However, it is important to note that the Large Trefoil should not be used as a primary source of treatment for any medical conditions, and it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using any new herbal remedies.

In terms of cultural significance, the Large Trefoil has been used as a symbol in many different cultures and traditions. In ancient Celtic folklore, the plant was seen as a symbol of good luck, and was often used in rituals and ceremonies. In Hinduism, the plant is associated with the god Vishnu, and is considered to be a symbol of protection and prosperity.

Today, the Large Trefoil is still widely cultivated and used for ornamental purposes, and is a popular choice for wildflower gardens, meadows, and naturalized areas. It is also frequently used in landscaping and erosion control projects, due to its ability to hold soil in place and improve soil health.

The Large Trefoil, Trifolium aureum, is a versatile and multi-functional plant that is a great addition to any garden. Its beauty, ease of care, and cultural significance make it a valuable asset to any garden, and its medicinal properties and soil-enhancing abilities make it a great choice for those interested in sustainable gardening practices.

Aside from its ornamental and medicinal uses, the Large Trefoil also has important ecological value. This wildflower is a key food source for many species of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. Its bright yellow flowers are an important source of nectar for pollinators, and its leaves provide food for caterpillars and other herbivorous insects.

The Large Trefoil is also an important plant for wildlife, as it provides habitat for many species of birds and small mammals. Its dense rosette of leaves provides cover and protection for birds and other animals, and its strong root system helps to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

In addition to its ecological value, the Large Trefoil is also a valuable plant for agriculture. This wildflower is a nitrogen-fixing plant, which means that it helps to improve soil fertility by adding nitrogen to the soil. This makes it a great choice for planting in fields and pastures, as it can help to improve the productivity of these lands. The Large Trefoil is also a great cover crop, as it helps to suppress weeds, reduce soil erosion, and improve soil health.

Overall, the Large Trefoil is a versatile and multi-functional plant that has many important benefits for the environment and for human well-being. Whether you are looking to add a touch of beauty to your garden, improve soil health, or support wildlife, this wildflower is definitely worth considering.

In conclusion, the Large Trefoil, Trifolium aureum, is a beautiful and valuable wildflower that has many important uses and benefits. Whether you are interested in ornamental gardening, sustainable agriculture, or supporting wildlife, this plant is a great choice that is sure to bring beauty and value to your life and your community.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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