Plants of Southern New Jersey

Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River & Its Tributaries
Photos by Renee Brecht    Plants of Southern NJ: Home Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River 

Plant Profile

Trifolium dubium Sibth.  

small hops clover

Opuntia humifusa Trifolium dubium leaves
Opuntia humifusa
Photos by Renee Brecht Britton and Brown. See credits below.**

Botanical name: Trifolium dubium Sibth.
Common name: small hops clover
Group: dicot
Family: Fabaceae
Growth Type: forb/herb
Duration: annual
Origin: introduced
Plant height: 2-14"
Foliage: palmate leaves with 3 leaflets, much-branched stem, hairy, with terminal leaflet stalked
Flower: yellow, ridged petals, in a cluster of flowers
Flowering/fruiting time blooms late April to September
Habitat: forms mats on disturbed soil; a weed of dry, open disturbed grounds such as waste, lawns, and old fields
Range in New Jersey: local statewide
Heritage ranking if any: n/a
Distribution Opuntia humifusa distribution

Binds nitrogen, like most clovers; usually a symptom a lawn (or field) that dries out during the summer

We have four yellow hop-clovers in the United States, all looking very similar. Identifying features below, as per Clemants & Gracie, 2006:

Trifolium aureum (hop clover), leaflets stalkless

Trifolium campestre (low hop clover) leaflets often notched, terminal leaflet stalked, flowers 20-40 per head

Trifolium dubium (little or small hop clover) leaflets notched, terminal leaflet stalked, similar to above, but flowers 5-15 perhead

Medicago lupulina (black medick--native) short spine-tipped, terminal leaflet stalked

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USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 572.
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