Trifolium

The clover family, with trefoil or shamrock-type leaves. Perennials, annuals and biennials from across the world. Some species are used as fodder plants, T. pratense, red clover, or as green manures (to cover and enrich the soil overwinter typically) T. hybridum, Alsike clover, both of which are native to the UK.

All clovers have flowers rich in nectar that attracts pollinating insects, from bumblebees to pollen-beetles, the size of the insect reflecting the size of the flowers in the often dense flowerhead. The leaves of native species at least are consumed by weevils and the larvae of moths, while all are valuable nitrogen-fixers.

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