Trifolium trichocephalum M.B. - Trifolium trichocephalum
Taxonomic position.Family Leguminosae Endl., genus Trifolium L.
Biology and morphology.Perennial herb. Stems erect or ascending, simple or branched stems having spreading hairs, 15-70 cm tall. Stipules are light green, about 4 cm long, ovate to oblong, prominently veined and hairy, united to leaf stalks half their length, the free portion lance-shaped with an awl-shaped terminal cusp or point. Leaves are very large, up to 20,0 cm long. Leaflets to 6,0 cm long, 1,5 to 2,0 cm wide, hairy, lower ones ovate to elliptical; upper ones elliptical to lance-shaped, pointed with a small tip. Heads large, 3,5 to 5,0 cm long, 3,0 to 4,0 cm wide, ovoid, many-flowered, with or without stalks, often ubtended by the upper leaves. Flowers about 2,0 to 3,0 cm long. Calyx long hairy, with cylindrical to bell-shaped tube having ten prominent veins, 6 to 8 mm long, the lobes unequal, the lower longer than the others, lanceshaped to awl-shaped, as long as or longer than the tube. Corolla cream-colored, twice as long as the calyx, standard oblong, strap-shaped, longer than the wings and keel, sometimes with a purple tip. Pods papery, splitting transversely, the lid somewhat leathery, 1-seeded. . Flowering period June to August. Self-incompatible, cross-pollinated mainly by honey bees. 2n = 48.
Distribution.The Caucasus (in whole, except Talysh).
Ecology.Meadows, woods, swampy places at higher altitudes. Adapted to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.
Utilization and economic value.An exellent forage crop with high nutritive value, equal to Trifolium pannonicum. Characterized by longevity ( in culture can be used up to 10 years). Hairiness of the plants doesn't limit the good palatability by animals. Excellent plant for honey production. Risk of bloat. Good seed producer. Characterized by high winter hardiness and high drought, pests and insects resistance.
Literature:Brezhnev D. D., Korovina O. N. 1980. Wild relatives of the cultivated plants of flora of the USSR. - L.: Kolos, 376 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of cultivated plants. Trifolium, Lotus. 1993. Mukhina N. A., A. K. Stankevich (ed.). - M..: Kolos, Vol. XIII. - 334 pp. (in Russin).
Flora of the European part of the USSR. 1987. Phyodorov A. A. (ed.). Vol. VI. - 254 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of the USSR, 1945. Schischkin V.K., E.G. Bobrov (ed.). Vol. 11, M.-L.: AN USSR , p. 129 - 176. (in Russian).
Galushko A. I. 1980. Flora of Northern Caucasus. A field guide. - Rostov - na - Donu:, Vol. 2. - 350 pp. (in Russian).
Grossheim A. A. 1952. Genus Trifolium. Flora of the Caucasus. M.-L.: AN USSR, v.5 - p. 191 - 221. (in Russian).
Kolakovskiy A. L. 1958. Flora of Abhasiya. - Tbilisi:, Vol. 3. - 292 pp. (in Russian).
Meusel Y. und and.1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der Zentraleuropischen Flora. Jena:, - 583 s.