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

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map