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Useful Temperate Plants

Trifolium subterraneum

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Calycomorphum subterraneum (L.) C.Presl

Trifolium yanninicum (Katzn. & Morley) Katzn.

Common Name: Subterranean Clover

No Image.

General Information

Trifolium subterraneum is a prostrate annual plant with a relatively strong tap root. It usually grows 15 - 30cm tall, branching from the base, with prostrate stems 3 - 20cm long, occasionally to 60cm[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is often grown as a green manure and for soil stabilization.
Trifolium subterraneum has a large geographical distribution and is known to occur within the protected areas network. The taxon is not considered to be specifically threatened or in decline at present. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

Eating this plant can cause bloat, especially if larger quantities are consumed[
1151
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Government Printing Office; Washington
Year
1900
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal. Rather dated, but it includes an ethnobotanical report from California and an early monograph of N. American Apiaceae. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Europe - Britain to Portugal, east to Ukraine, Greece and Bulgaria; W. Asia - Turkey, Caucasia, Levant; N. Africa - Morocco to Tunisia

Habitat

Sandy and gravelly pastures, also on cliff tops, avoiding acid soils and shady positions[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. Humid soils of open plains and in mountains; at elevations from sea level to 1,800 metres[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Trifolium subterraneum is a plant of the temperate to subtropical zone, especially in the Mediterranean, where it is found at elevations up to 1,300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 5 - 25°c, but can tolerate 3 - 30°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -15°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c, though there are also reports that well-established seedlings can survive -15°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 250 - 1,630mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil, preferring a position in full sun, but tolerating light shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in poor soils[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 8.2[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Plants are partially winter hardy[
87
Title
Green Manures.
Publication
 
Author
Woodward. L. Burge. P.
Publisher
Elm Farm Research Centre.
Year
1982
ISBN
-
Description
Green manure crops for temperate areas. Quite a lot of information on a number of species.
].
Subterranean clover is indigenous to the Mediterranean region. It is best suited to regions with mild winters and warm, dry summers[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Yields of green manure may be about 35 - 40 tonnes per hectare[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Autumn sown in Brazil, the plant can provide groundcover in 90 - 115 days, flowers after 95 - 130 days, and mature in 140 - 190 days[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
It makes permanent pastures lasting up to 25 years. It propagates itself by seed[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
After flowering, the fruiting head grows into the ground, thereby planting the seed.
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked.

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

This plant can be grown as a ground cover green manure under tomatoes in the greenhouse. The seed should be sown before planting the tomatoes[
87
Title
Green Manures.
Publication
 
Author
Woodward. L. Burge. P.
Publisher
Elm Farm Research Centre.
Year
1982
ISBN
-
Description
Green manure crops for temperate areas. Quite a lot of information on a number of species.
]. It can also be sown under soft fruit and cut once or twice in the summer[
87
Title
Green Manures.
Publication
 
Author
Woodward. L. Burge. P.
Publisher
Elm Farm Research Centre.
Year
1982
ISBN
-
Description
Green manure crops for temperate areas. Quite a lot of information on a number of species.
].
It also provides good erosion control[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
This species grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. It should not be grown with camellias or gooseberries, however, because it harbours a mite that can cause fruit drop in the gooseberries and premature budding in the camellias[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ.
If the seed is in short supply it might be better to sow it in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2024-06-15. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Trifolium+subterraneum>

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