Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Trifolium subterraneum

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 767 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Subterranean clover, sub clover.

Prostrate villous annual; stems numerous, 2-30 cm long; leaves on petioles from longer than to as long as the leaflets; leaflets obovate to broadly obcordate, 4-20 mm long, irregularly and faintly denticulate; stipules herbaceous, broadly ovate, with an acute point.

Flowers of two kinds, the 2-5 outer complete and fertile, but all later-formed inner flowers of the head reduced to solid calyces, the rigid recurved lobes of which act as anchors in securing ripened pods in the soil; heads on peduncles usually elongated to longer than the petioles, at first erect, later turning the head down into the earth after anthesis; fertile calyx 3-4 mm long, slender, glabrous or sparsely hairy, sometimes reddish; lobes equal, setaceous, hairy and longer than the tube; corolla 8-14 mm, whitish.

Pod ovoid, somewhat exserted, crustaceous, 1-seeded; seed obliquely ovoid, 2.5-3.5 mm long, blackish, smooth.

image of FSA2_Trifolium_sub.jpg Twig, flower and calyx, with legume.
Image source: fig. 354f in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 427.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: FR, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; ?Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   A native of Europe and the Mediterranean but now the most important clover grown in temperate Australia.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Aug. — Nov.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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