Species: Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Family: Legumes (FABACEAE or LEGUMINOSAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Legumes (FABACEAE or LEGUMINOSAE)

Legume seedpod crops are commercially very important for human consumption, livestock forage, silage, and nitrogen-rich ‘green manure’.

C. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

The pink-purple flowers of this native plant, from May, vary in colour, and may even be white. A four-leaved clover is said to be lucky. Never put red and white flowers in a vase together as it foretells death or misfortune. White flowers on their own indoors is also a symbol of death. Clover flower tea treats the symptoms of early menopause, osteoporosis and cervical dysplasia. An infusion is used for relief of bronchitis and whooping cough.

Both clovers may be picked from May until September, but pick the leaves and flowers fresh and use as soon as possible. Red clover flowers are sweet tasting, and called 'honey-suck'. Clover petals can be mixed in with cake and bun fillings and toppings, and the tops decorated with frosted clover flowers. Beat an egg white until stiff and dip the flowers in. Coat with icing sugar and allow to dry. Clover flower heads can be added to salad dressings, or pickled in white wine vinegar and used with salads. To make the pickle, pack the flowers into jars, add a little honey and fill with the vinegar. Stir well and seal. Use after a week or so.

Additional Information

Recipe for Red Clover Flower Cough Mixture

Red clover flower infusions, sweetened with honey if desired, have a calming effect. Red clover flowers also make a useful cough mixture. Boil equal amounts of red clover flowers and peppermint leaves in water and simmer for 30 minutes. Filter and add honey to taste. Stir well and boil for 5 minutes after the honey has dissolved.

Images

Red Clover

The pink-purple flowers of the native Red Clover, from May, vary in colour, and may even be white.

Red Clover

The leaves of Red Clover are slightly hairy compared to the hairless leaves of White Clover. Note also the slight difference in flower colour between the two examples photographed for this species of flowering plant.