T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Trifolium pratense (Red clover)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Trifolium
Species: T. pratense
Binomial name: Trifolium pratense
Common name: Red Clover

Trifolium pratense is a variety of clover found in New Zealand.  It is common in lawns. Like all clovers it has three leaflets, and creeping stems that set roots at whatever point they touch the ground. Flowers are red/purple. They are a member of the pea family Fabaceae and this means it can fix nitrogen from the air and therefore they favour poorly fertilised lawns.
Though cloves are a nuisance in lawns it is an important plant in rural pastures.  It is also important for honey bees pollen collection. Clover honey is the most common honey type in New Zealand.