Hare’s-foot clover

Annual or biennial plant with unique inflorescences in the form of elliptical, gray heads. Hare’s-foot clover is drought-resistant, grows well in acidic and sandy soils. Flowers are visited by pollinators, mainly bees.

Wild, non-cultivar seeds.

SKU: N085

11,00 47,00 

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About the species

Polish name: field clover, cat’s kidneys, gray kitties, sleepyhead,Virgin Mary’s yarn, Virgin Mary’s tears, Virgin Mary’s hair, kittens, Malashka

Latin name: Trifolium arvense

Family : Fabaceae

Status in Poland: native

The morphology of the hare’s-foot clover

A short-lived, quite low plant with unmistakable inflorescences in the form of elliptical, gray heads resembling the fur of a young cat (hence the numerous folk names). It develops strong taproots. All aboveground parts are strongly tomentosed.

The stems are hairy, highly branched, semi-erect or procumbent, less often erect, 5-30 cm high (rarely higher to 40, even 60 cm). The leaves are alternately arranged, keeping the complex trifoliate shape and bracts typical of clovers. Single leaves narrower than in related species, finely toothed, grayish due to hairiness. The bracts often completely cover the petiole, are elongated, awl-shaped, and lanceolate at the base.

The heads of the hare’s-foot clover differ significantly from the inflorescences of the other clovers species with their silvery color and texture similar to that of a cat’s fur. They grow on long pedicels in June and July (sometimes repeating flowering after mowing), reaching up to 1 cm in width and 1-2 cm in height. A single flower is characterized by the butterfly-like shape typical of the legume family, it is bisexual, gamosepalous and fivefold. It develops a very hairy, reddish and tubular calyx. In the butterfly crown of this species, which is shorter than or equal to the calyx in length, not all petals coalesce. Initially, it is creamy white, then pink. The pistil remains as top and single as on the rest of the clovers, and 9 out of 10 stamens coalesce.

Fruit in the form of a small, usually one or two-grain pod, 0.5-1.0 mm wide and 1.0-1.5 mm long, which does not break spontaneously. The seeds are very hard, inconspicuous, yellow and very dormant.

Additional information

Hare’s-foot clover in seed mixtures: