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Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium
Family - Fabaceae
Also known as - Little Hop Clover, Suckling Clover, Yellow Shamrock

Trifolium dubium is an annual herbaceous plant of the Pea family found from May to October in sunlit lawns, meadows, fields, grasslands, damp pasture, disturbed ground, growing to 50cm (20in) it is generally accepted as the type species for the traditional Irish Shamrock.  Native and common to the UK and Europe, but is an introduced and sometimes invasive species elsewhere in the world.  Bright yellow zygomorphic flower heads 6-9mm (0.25-0.35in) across from May to October composed of 10-20 flowers browning as they age ripening to seeds from July to October grow to 5-20cm (2-8in) high.  The hermaphroditic flowers are self fertile but are also pollinated by bees, it grows in most soil types and like other Clover species Lesser Trefoil fixes atmospheric Nitrogen on its root nodules.  Alternate trifoliate leaflets are oval tapering to the base, the centre leaf being on a short stalk.  Very similar to Black Medic - Medicago lupulina but lacking the terminal point of that species.  

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   A poultice made from chopped Lesser trefoil is used to stem bleeding from cuts.

Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse NCSA3.0
Photo ©2009 Barry Breckling
Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2004 TeunSpaans
Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2006 Hopklaver
Lesser trefoil - Trifolium dubium, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2007 Kenraiz

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