Trifolium fontanum Bobr. - Fountain Clover.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Trifolium L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial up to 1 m tall. Stems in upper part and under nodes covered with adpressed white hairs. Leaflets hairy on both surfaces and at margins. Corolla intensely purple, with broader tube than in other clover species. The species is very close to the red clover; it may be considered a variety of Trifolium pratense L. Entomophilous, cross-pollinated. Flowers and fruits in June - July. 2n=14, 28.


Endemic to Caucasus.


Moist valley meadows, spring fens, often at the very water or directly in water. Middle and upper mountain zones. Withstands frosts down to -20-30 centigrades, and significant daily temperature variation.

Economic value.

Perfect forage plant, recommended to bring under cultivation in highland areas, as winter-hardy and cold-resistant legume plant. Characterized by gigantism, gives high yield of green forage.


Brezhnev DD., Korovina ON. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants of the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 376 p. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.194-221. (In Russian).
Bobrov EG. 1945. Clover - Trifolium L. In: Shishkin BK., ed. Flora URSS. V.11. P.189-261. (In Russian).

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© Photo by E.A.Dzyubenko

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