Trifolium aureum (Golden Clover)
|Also known as:||Palmate Hop Clover, Yellow Hop Clover|
|Life cycle:||annual, biennial|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; fields, waste areas, roadsides|
|Bloom season:||May - September|
|Plant height:||6 to 18 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single round to oval flower head on a ½ to 2-inch stalk arising from a leaf axil. Heads are ½ to ¾ inch long, densely packed with tiny yellow pea-shaped flowers that turn a creamy color then rusty brown before going to seed, giving plants a somewhat calico appearance. A plant has numerous flowers on branching stems.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are palmately compound in 3s, on a short stalk. Leaflets are ½ to ¾ inch long, finely toothed except near the base, rounded at the tip, tapering at the base, and all stalkless. A pair of leafy appendages (stipules) at the leaf joint are oval-lance shaped and about as long as the leaf stalk. Stems are smooth or with fine flattened hairs; growth is semi-erect with branches spreading laterally.
Notes:Like many foreign introductions to Minnesota, Golden Clover may have been first introduced in the Port of Duluth. Now very common along the northshore drive in St. Louis county, it is also becoming more common along transportation corridors into east central parts of the state. It is very similar in appearance to Low Hop Clover (Trifolium campestre), a shorter stature plant that has a very distinct stalk on the middle leaflet.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County, and in Cass County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in St. Louis and Cass counties.
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