Thered clover(Trifolium pratense) is a herbaceous species that in Italy is mainly cultivated for forage purposes. His interest in the rest of the world embracesalternative treatmentsand theornamental cultivation. TheTrifolium pratense, in fact, it cancultivateto obtain an extensive green grassland, replacing the classic turf. In Indian medicine, this plant is widely used for the preparation of remedies with multiple virtues. Let's find out all the details together.
Red clover: leaves, flowers and fruit
It's aplantnative to Europe, western Asia and north-east Africa. It's aplantvery widespread so much that hiscultivationseems to date back to the seventeenth century!
It is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Legume family (Fabaceae). It looks likeperennial plant, with an average height between 10 and 60 cm, although it can reach a height of up to 110 cm.
It has leaves, as the name suggests, they develop into three ovals, 1 - 3 cm long. The leaves have a characteristic that makes them ornamental: in the central part they are lighter while marginally the plant tissue tends to darken.
THEflowers they are formed by 5 petals, welded in a chalice formed in turn by 5 sepals. The corollas have variable colors: pink, dark pink, purple and sometimes white. THE red clover flowers they are grouped in larger inflorescences of 2 - 3 cm in diameter. They have a globular appearance and at the base they are covered with leaves.
Come onred clover flowers(Trifolium pratense) develop godsfruits. The fruits of Trifolium pratense are legumes that contain a heart-shaped seed. The fruits are very small, the shades range from yellow to purple.
Trifolium pratense: plant
Red clover grows well in our territory. It stops its growth with excessively hot temperatures (30 - 35 ° C) so much so that it adapts better to the cooler climate. The temperature greatly affects the development of vegetation.
Thetrifolium pratenseyou cancultivateas an alternative to the lawn: it does not require mowing and above all it is very resistant. In forage cultivation, the life cycle of the plant is up to 7 years where the temperatures are cooler and about 3 years where the climate is warmer. It grows well in shady areas and also competes well with weeds. If grown for ornamental purposes, it can be managed as a perennial plant.
Cultivate the Trifolium pratense
Grow red cloverit's easy: this plant has few needs. The only thing it wants is humidity: it can't stand drought!
It grows well in any type of soil even if it prefers deep and well-draining soils (it cannot stand water stagnation). It is unproductive on sandy or light soils, to optimize the harvest, in fact, slightly clayey soils are used. It quickly absorbs phosphorus and potassium, this must be kept in mind when fertilizing.
In Italy, theTrifolium pratenseit grows spontaneously throughout the territory, it can also be seen at road banks, in uncultivated fields or on country roads.
Of theRed cloverthere are several varieties:
- Early flowering
It blooms between April and May. It wants very fertile land.
- Intermediate flowering
It blooms in late May. Two weeks later the early flowering variety.
- Late flowering and extra-late flowering
They bloom from late May to late June, two to three weeks after the intermediate varieties.
All varieties grow well in temperatures between 7 ° and 30 ° C.
When to sow trifolium pratense?
It should besownin early autumn. With timely sowing (roughly between the end of September and the beginning of October) it can give an abundant harvest already in the first year of growth. Those who live in the North of Italy may have to postpone thesowing of red cloverto spring. To understand if you can sow in autumn, ask yourself a question: how long is it before the arrival of frost? If the answer is “at least one month”, thensowingin autumn! To germinate and develop, iseeds of Trifolium Pratensetake about 30 days.
It can be broadcasted. With thesowingin autumn you will be able to obtain a ground completely covered withclover. With spring, the clover's vegetation presses up to give you the first flowering between April and June, depending on the variety you choose.
Once thebroadcasting, you can cover everything with a mixture of soil and compost. Or you can sow, more evenly, with a fertilizer spreader.
Where to find red clover seeds?
Trifolium pratense seeds are easy to find on the market. If you don't find them at the agricultural consortium near your home (or if you live in the city center and there are no garden centers nearby!) You can aim for online sales.
At “this Amazon page” you can find several proposals forClover seeds, even organic (marked with the words "Bio" or "Organic"). A 10 kg package can be bought for around 80 euros, for more modest quantities (500 gr) the investment is around 20 euros.