Hop Trefoil - Trifolium campestre


Short, hairy, erect plant. Trifoliate, leaflets oval, narrowed towards the base, the central one short stalked. Flowers pale yellow, becoming pale brown eventually, 4 to 5 mm long in small, globose, stalked heads to 15 mm across.

Similar Species

Trifolium dubium, Trifolium micranthum, Medicago lupulina

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Broad, flat standards that fold downwards over the pods, looking a bit like a hop-flower.  Larger and paler than Lesser Hop-trefoil, and turns brownish with age.  Both trefoils are similar to Black Medick in flower, but Black Medick leaves are much more hairy and have an apiculate point (i.e a short fine 'needle' from the end of the leaflet) 

Recording advice

General photo in habitat and a side-on view of flowers


Dry grassy places, short rough grassland and road verges.

When to see it

June to September.

Life History


UK Status

Fairly frequent in Britain but scarcer in the north.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 222 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is given as Native and locally frequent, calcareous soils

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map