HOP TREFOIL

Trifolium campestre

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
type
typeZglobed
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round

9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A fairly common plant growing from 10 - 30cm in grassy places, disturbed ground on poor but dry soils.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in globular clusters, leaves in triples.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Growing with the purplish Ivy-leaved Toadflax.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers pale yellow.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers grow near the summit of each branch.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaflets 6-10mm long and finely-toothed in triplets, the middle one being on a longer petiole (stalk) which is over 1.5mm long.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves lacking a mucro point at the tip. Leaves hairless apart from perhaps some on the underside along the mid-rib. Young not yet developed flowers are green - there are three at the top right.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower heads between 8-15mm across, (larger than the 5-9mm of the similar Lesser Trefoil)


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower heads composed of not less than 20 pale yellow flowers. Individual floret corollas are 4-7mm long


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Individual flowers unlike those of the similar Black Medick (which has 20-40 flowers in smaller heads between 3-6mm across). The flowers are the reverse way around to those of Black Medick and have the banner (standard) uppermost, in a shallow upturned V-shape, (and curling downwards on the lower flowers and even more so on the fruiting heads - the 'hops').


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves can redden when stressed by too much sun or heat. Stems densely hairy.


9th June 2015, river promenade, Lancaster, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Stems densely hairs with shortish hairs. Without hairs on top surface of the leaf (nor on the underside apart from perhaps a few on the mid-rib).


5th July 2014, Wigan Wallgate Rly Stn, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers turning to 'hop' fruits from the bottom upwards.


5th July 2014, Wigan Wallgate Rly Stn, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Half-way there.


11th June 2016, Cronton ex-Colliery reserve, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Turning to fruit.


5th July 2014, Wigan Wallgate Rly Stn, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Almost ripe.


Not to be confused semantically with Hop (Humulus lupus) (from which it derives its name for the fruiting heads resemble hops), nor with Bird's-Foot-Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot-Trefoil (Lotus tenuis), Slender Bird's-foot-Trefoil (Lotus angustissimus) or Greater Bird's-foot-Trefoil (aka Large Bird's-foot-Trefoil) (Lotus pedunculatus) - [all plants with similar names and belonging to the same Pea Family (Fabaceae) but in differing genera]

Easily confused with : Black Medick, but Black Medick has a minute point at the end of the leaf, and generally has more fine teeth on the edges. Black Medick is readily distinguished by its very small curled-up black seed pods.

Many similarities to : other Hop Trefoils and Medicks such as Lesser Trefoil, Large Trefoil, Sulphur Clover and Black Medick.

No relation to : Hops [a plant with similar name but in a totally different family].


  Trifolium campestre  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Trifolium
Trifolium
(Clovers)

HOP TREFOIL

Trifolium campestre

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

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