Search

[?]

Open the Advanced Search

Lesser Trefoil

Trifolium dubium

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 Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Fabales
Family:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Also in this family:
Alpine Milk-vetch, Alsike Clover, Birdsfoot, Birdsfoot Clover, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bithynian Vetch, Bitter Vetchling, 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, Crown Vetch, Dragon's Teeth, Dwarf Gorse, Dyer's Greenweed, False Acacia, Fine-leaved Vetch, Fodder Vetch, Fyfield Pea, 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, Long-headed Clover, 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, 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
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Annual
Maximum Size:
25 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, grassland, lawns, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 5 petals
 
Dull yellow compact flowerhead on a short stalk, up to 20 flowers per head. Similar looking flower as Black Medick.
Fruit:
An egg-shaped, hard seed pod containing a single brown seed, up to 2mm long. Drooping when ripe.
Leaves:
Trifoliate leaves, clover-like in appearance. Similar looking to Black Medick except the tips of the leaflets are a slightly different shape. With Lesser Trefoil the tips of the leaflets are notched ever so slightly, whereas Black Medick leaflets have a slight protrusion. However, the difference is not always that obvious so careful observation is usually necessary in order to ensure identification is correct.
Other Names:
Cowhop Clover, Hop Clover, Irish Shamrock, Least Hop Clover, Lesser Hop Trefoil, Lesser Yellow Trefoil, Little Hop Clover, Low Hop Clover, Shamrock, Shamrock Clover, Small Hop Clover, Suckling Clover, Yellow Clover, Yellow Shamrock, Yellow Shamrock Clover, Yellow Suckling Clover, Yellow Trefoil.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map