TRIFOLIUM fragiferum (Strawberry Clover) is a low-growing, perennial clover species native to Europe. It belongs to the Fabaceae family and is well-regarded for its attractive strawberry-like flowers and its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which can be beneficial for other plants in the vicinity.
Strawberry Clover typically forms a prostrate or creeping mat of foliage, with stems that can reach up to 16 inches (40 centimeters) in length. The leaves are trifoliate (having three leaflets) and are typically green with a silvery or whitish crescent shape on each leaflet. The most distinctive feature of this plant is its small, round, and pink to reddish flower heads, which resemble tiny strawberries.
Strawberry Clover prefers well-draining soils and is often found in sandy or gravelly areas. It is drought-tolerant and can handle relatively poor soil conditions. This clover species thrives in full sun to partial shade, making it adaptable to various environments.
Like other legumes, such as clovers, peas, and beans, Strawberry Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant. It forms a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobia) in its root nodules, which allows it to take atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into a form that enriches the soil. This process can improve soil fertility and benefit neighboring plants.
The flowers of Strawberry Clover attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens.
Strawberry Clover is often utilized as a ground cover in gardens and landscapes, especially in areas with poor soil or low fertility. It can be used to control erosion, as it forms a dense mat that helps stabilize the soil. Additionally, because of its nitrogen-fixing ability, it is often sown as a cover crop to improve soil quality in agricultural settings.
Low Maintenance: Once established, Strawberry Clover requires minimal maintenance. It generally does not require fertilizers due to its nitrogen-fixing abilities. It is relatively resistant to pests and diseases.
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Scientific Name: Trifolium Fragiferum
Common Name: Strawberry Clover
Plant Type: Perennial Herb
Habitat: Terrestrial, Wetlands
Native Range: Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia
Full Growth Height: 8-14"
Exposure: Full Sun
Blooming Season: July, August
Flower Color: Pink to Red, White
Tolerate: Drought, Salt
Water Requirement: Dry, Medium
Soil Type: Sand, Loam, Clay, Well-Drained
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Uses: Wetlands, Banks and Slopes, Prairies and Meadows, Naturalized Areas