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Rabbits-foot Clover Trifolium arvense

Phonetic Spelling
try-FOH-lee-um ar-VEN-see
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Trifolium arvense is an annual or biannual in the legume family that is native to Europe and western Asia and is found in all areas of NC.   Its common name Hare's-foot clover is a direct reference to its flowers, that resemble a hare's paw or tail.  It can easily be identified by its fuzzy flower heads.  It is found in sandy soils at the edge of fields, roadways, sand dunes, vineyards and orchards. It is widespread in the eastern and pacific areas of North America. 

It is a nitrogen fixation plant and has been used as a cover crop in low nitrogen soils. Sheep and goats will graze the leaves. It is also considered an invasive plant in other areas. Grows best in sun to partial sun in sandy soils.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant reseeds itself and can become invasive in favorable locations such as sandy disturbed areas.  Wind blown seed can quickly germinate, allowing the plant to form large colonies.  Its hard seed coating allows the seed to overwinter and begin to germinate as the temperatures become favorable.  

Domestic livestock and horses can develop abdominal obstructions by consuming this plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#weedy#herbaceous#deer browsing plant#reseeds#wildflower garden#larval host plant#herbaceous annual#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#rabbit damage#clouded sulphur butterfly#wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#weedy#herbaceous#deer browsing plant#reseeds#wildflower garden#larval host plant#herbaceous annual#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#rabbit damage#clouded sulphur butterfly#wildflower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trifolium
    Species:
    arvense
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and western Asia
    Distribution:
    Waste places and roadsides
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Clouded Sulfur (Colias philodice) larvae which appear from May to October in the North and from March to November in the South. There are 3 flights in the North and 4 to 5 flights in the South. Adult Clouded Sulfur butterflies feed on flower nectar from many different plants. Some animals also use this plant as a food source, such as rabbits, groundhogs, deer, horses, cattle and sheep.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is in the form of a pod that remains inside the calyx. Each pod contains 1 seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Dense, fuzzy, round to cylindrical, grayish pink flower heads arise from the leaf axils and at the tips of the branching stems. The flowers are hidden by the pink/gray calyx.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1/2 to 1-inch long and 1/3 inch wide sessile leaflets in sets of three; soft, silky feel. Margins finely serrated or entire. They have a blunt or rounded tip and taper at the base. The middle is wider than the tip and base.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Erect to ascending hairy terete stems that are often multi-branched. Although the stem is typically green it can also have a reddish tint.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy