Pink, Rose, Red, or Purple Flowered Forbs

Pink, Rose, Red & Purple Flowered Forbs
Black henbane
Blue Mustard
Bull thistle
Canada thistle
Common burdock
Diffuse knapweed
Iberian knapweed
Meadow knapweed
Musk thistle
Purple loosestrife
Purple starthistle
Red clover
Redstem filaree
Russian knapweed
Scotch thistle
Spiny plumeless thistle
Spotted knapweed
Squarrose knapweed
Tall morning-glory


Red Clover
Trifolium pratense L. (Pea family, Fabaceae)


Red clover is a cool-season biennial or short-lived perennial with a number of leafy erect or ascending stems arising from the woody root crown, 4 to 8 inches long. Leaves and stems are pubescent. Plants have hollow, hairy stems and branches.

Leaves: The alternate leaves are composed of three leaflets (trifoliate), which may or may not have a “crescent” or “watermark” on the upper surface; stipules ovate, conspicuously veined, 3/8 to 15/16 inch long; leaf stalks long; leaflets obovate or oval, 3/4 to 2 inches long, entire or finely toothed; flowering heads sessile.

Flowers: Flowers June to October; the flower heads, each consisting of 40 to 100 or more flowers, are borne in compact clusters or heads; flowers rose-pink to purple; flower stalks to 1-3/16 inches long; flower heads spherical, 7/8 to 1-3/8 inches in diameter; flower stems less than 1/8 inch long; flowers 1/2 to 3/4 inch long; calyx 5/16 to 1-1/32 inches long, hairy; corolla 13/32 to 13/16 inch long, rose-pink to purple.

Fruit: The fruit is a legume, less than 3/16 inch long, with 1 to 2 kidney-shaped seeds that vary in color from yellow to deep violet; produces roughly 272,000 seeds per pound.


Red clover grows best on well drained loam soil, in wet to dry meadows, open forests, and forest margins within elevations that are generally below 8,500 feet.


Reproduces by seed.


Native to Europe; red clover has an extensively branched and deeply penetrating (8 feet or more) taproot and makes its best growth on rich, deep, well-drained soil. Red clover may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed, making it a concern in riparian and moist meadow habitats. This species generally occurs as a weed in wildland areas of the Southwestern Region rather than as an invasive plant.

Collage of 4 images of Red clover


Forest Service Shield
Invasive plants and weeds of the national forests and grasslands in the southwestern region
Red clover trifoliate leaves Red clover plants Red clover flowers and foliage Red clover flowers and foliage