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Trifolium aureum

Trifolium aureum Pollich

Trifolium agrarium

Trifolium agrarium L. p.p.

Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusTrifolium“Three-leaved,” for the 3-leaf clusters
Speciesaureum

About plant names...

Hop clover is a native of central and southern Europe, now well established in North America. The common name signifies the resemblance of this clover to hops.

Identification: Trifolium (“three-leaved”) is a large genus, and three common yellow hop clovers are compared below. Black medic, a relative, looks closely similar to low hop clover, so this is included too.

 

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

5/31/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3 × 3½" (8.2 × 9.2 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/13/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

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Trifolium aureum

Trifolium campestre

Trifolium dubium
Common Name

Hop Clover

Low Hop Clover

Least Hop Clover
Plant Plants 6-18" (15-45 cm) high. Up to 16" (40 cm) tall, sometimes erect, sometimes growing along the ground 2-6" (5-15 cm) tall, often forming mats.
Flowers

 

About ¾" (1.9 cm) high. Flowers turn brown and wilt, seeds fall to the ground instead of forming a fruit

 

Yellow, less than ½" (1.3 cm) across; roughly spherical, with 20-40 individual flowers; flowerheads become brown with age. Upper petals of the flowers have grooves.

 

About ¼" (6.3 mm) yellow flowerheads, oval to spherical, 5-15 flowers per head. Flowers turn brown when seeds ripen.
Leaves

 

Groups of 3. Central leaf is not on a separate stem (petiole). Leaflets about ¾" (1.9 cm) long, ¼" (6.3 mm) wide.

 

Groups of 3, about ¾" (1.9 cm) long; with small teeth near the leaf tips. The central leaf is on a longer stem (petiole) than with other hop clovers, often notched at the top

 

Alternate, in groups of 3, with a larger center leaf on a short petiole (stem), often notched at the top.
Stem Multiply branched, usually erect Green or reddish green, multiply branched Green or reddish, multiply branched.
Seeds Inconspicuous Inconspicuous  
Fruit     Inconspicuous.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Grasslands, fields, roadsides, wastelands Temperate grasslands, fields, roadsides, wastelands, cultivated fields Disturbed soil, meadows, common in lawns.
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common Common

 

 
Medicago lupulina
Common Name

Black Medic
Plant Plant may reach up to 30" (76 cm) long
Flowers

 

Rounded, about ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm)
Leaves

 

Three leaves, with slightly serrated tips, center leaf on separate petiole
Stem Often prostrate, light green or reddish green, covered with white hairs
Seeds Black, coiled
Fruit

 

Seedpods are “coiled”—this is probably the most unique feature of black medic
Range/ Zones

Habitats Prairies (black soil, clay), weedy meadows, old fields, cropland, pastures, vacant lots, landfills, cemeteries, lawns, areas along railroads and roadsides, and miscellaneous waste areas; common in low-cut lawns
Type Wild

 

 

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

From .

Edibility: With most clovers, flower heads (and possibly leaves) may be juiced or boiled and eaten. Dried flower heads and seed pods are also edible.[1] However, I could not find specific edibility information for hop clover, nor could I for the similar-appearing plant black medic (Medicago lupulina).

Online References:

Trifolium aureum at Illinois Wildflowers

Trifolium aureum on WikiBooks.org

Trifolium aureum on the USDA Plants Database

Trifolium aureum at Minnesota Wildflowers

Trifolium aureum on Delaware Wildflowers

Trifolium aureum on Wikimedia Commons

Trifolium aureum on eFloras

Trifolium aureum from the Jepson Manual

References:

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 58

Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 150

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/2/2010 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 3 × 4" (7.9 × 10 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 3 × 4" (8.3 × 10 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

10/9/2016 · By Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., United States

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/29/2014 · Mount Agamenticus, York, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/29/2014 · Mount Agamenticus, York, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

1See Wikipedia article

Trifolium aureum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 1 Jul 2014.

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Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/16/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 7.8 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/17/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Nashoba Hospital, MA
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

5/31/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/14/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 2½ × 3½" (6.6 × 8.8 cm) ID is uncertain

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

6/2/2010 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Trifolium aureum (Hop Clover, Large Hop Clover, Large Hop Trefoil, Golden Clover)

5/31/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3 × 2½" (8.4 × 6.8 cm)

Range:

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