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Suckling Clover Trifolium dubium

Previously known as:

  • Trifolium minus var. microphyllum
Phonetic Spelling
try-FOH-lee-um DOO-bee-um
Description

Lesser Trefoil is an annual weed in the bean family found all over the world in disturbed sites, roadsides, meadows, and lawns.  It is a legume so it fixes nitrogen in the soil.  This plant is what is commonly used as the inspiration for the Irish Shamrock.  Tiny yellow flowers attract bees to their nectar from late spring to early fall.  It can be used for animal forage, it will often be seen in lawns where it handles foot traffic and mowing well.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#disturbed areas#larval host plant#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly#roadside#meadows#forage#clouded sulphur butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#disturbed areas#larval host plant#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly#roadside#meadows#forage#clouded sulphur butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trifolium
    Species:
    dubium
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Macronesia, Europe
    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. Flowers are pollinated by bees.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Dry does not split open when ripe
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Yellow flowers appear May-October and are self fertile as they have both male and female parts.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    2 or more leaflets
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Foot Traffic
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy