This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Like other Leguminosae of quite modern date, the range of this introduced plant is included in the North Temperate Zone, in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. It is everywhere an introduction, being found with other clovers, Sainfoin, Lucerne, etc, grown for fodder.
As a fodder plant, too, Alsike Clover is a common companion of the cultivated Red and White Clovers. It is also found in many cornfields, and where roots are grown. It is frequent in old brickyards and some types of quarry, and on railway embankments. This may be due in some cases to the growing of clover with wheat to serve as a second crop after the wheat is cut. In a general way it occurs in sandy places, and on waste ground, where it is quite established.
This is a handsome, tall, erect, or sometimes trailing, and clustered or branched species, with fresh bright-green foliage. The leaflets are oblong, with small sawlike teeth, and notched at the tip, the stem hollow, the stipules or leaves membranous with few nerves, the stalks long.
The flowerheads are in umbels, rounded, in threes, the stalks long, placed in the axils, the petals being white or rose-colour, and the teeth of the calyx are subequal, awl-shaped, and half as long as the corolla. The pods contain 4 seeds.
Usually Alsike Clover is about 9 in. to 1 ft. high. The flowers may be found in June, July, August, and September. It is perennial.
The flowers are larger than, but resemble those of T. repens, and are thus more liable to be cross-pollinated than smaller-flowered species which are inconspicuous. The flower is partly drooping after flowering and the calyx bell-shaped. The pods are enclosed in the calyx, which does not fall, and drop in the immediate neighbourhood of the parent plant.
Alsike is a sand plant and thrives well on a sand soil, derived from arenaceous rocks, such as Coal-measures and other sandstone formations.
Insect or fungal pests are unknown.
The name hybridum refers to a supposed hybrid origin, the plant being derived from T. pratense and T. repens, between which it is intermediate.
The plant is called Alsike or Alsike Clover. Linnaeus found it growing in the parish of Alsike, about ten British miles south of Upsala, and in Sweden it is known as Alsike Klover.
Photo. J. H. Crabtree - Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum, L.)
Essential Specific Characters:80. Trifolium hybridum, L. - Stems spreading, branched, erect, leaves obovate, stipules ovate to lanceolate, flowers in globular depressed heads, white or pink, calyx-teeth subulate.