Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Crimson Clover
Trifolium incarnatum

Used as a green manure. It is relatively fast growing, makes an excellent weed suppressing cover and fixes nitrogen[1, 46, 61, 87]. It is also used with grass seed mixes in soil reclamation projects[200].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    The seeds can be sprouted and eaten in salads[183]. They can also be dried and ground into a nutritious flour[183].

    Dried flower heads are a tea substitute[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring to early summer in situ. The seed can also be sown in early autumn as a winter green manure.
Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in poor soils. The ssp. molinerli is the form of this species that is native to Britain, whilst ssp. incarnatum is naturalized in S. Britain and is the form grown as a green manure crop[17]. It grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[201]. It should not be grown with camellias or gooseberries because it harbours a mite that can cause fruit drop in the gooseberries and premature budding in the camellias[201]. Fairly resistant to ‘clover rot'[87]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[201]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Western and southern Europe, including Britain, to the Balkans and the Mediterranean.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.