Online Publications

PDF file available


Forage Identification and Use Guide

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Red clover leaves are large and nearly always have a prominent V-shaped pattern, or watermark, on the leaflets. Red clover has very hairy, fleshy stems and dark, pink flowers. Red clover plants form crowns around a taproot and grow erect.

Cool-season, perennial legume with hairy stems. Stands last two to three years. Erect, leafy plant that grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Leaves are large and often have prominent V-shaped watermark.

Hay, pasture, haylage.

Widely adapted, good seedling vigor, complements tall fescue and other cool-season grasses. Established easily, high yields.

Shorter stand life than alfalfa and white clover. Heavy first cuttings are difficult to cure. Hay is dusty. Overmature second cutting red clover hay may have a fungus that causes animals to slobber.

Rate: 8-12 lb/a
Depth: ¼-½ in
Primary Date: Feb 1-Apr 15
Secondary Date: Aug 1-Sep 15

First harvest: May 1-May 15
Annual yield: 2-5 tons dry matter/a

Equal opportunity statement