Trifolium alpinum

Many thanks to first-time BPotD contributor Josef Stuefer aka josef.stuefer@Flickr for today’s photograph (original via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool).

Trifolium alpinum, or (unsurprisingly), alpine clover is a perennial native to the acidic-soil grasslands and rocky slopes of the Alps, Pyrenees and northern Apennines in southwestern Europe. Up to a dozen flowers in globose inflorescences are borne on leafless stems, approximately 5-20cm high (2-8in.). The flowers are sweet-smelling, but I’ve not had the pleasure so can’t attempt to describe it. Of alpine Trifolium species in Europe, it has the largest flowers (according to the Alpine Garden Society’s Encyclopaedia of Alpines).

Alpine clover has been assessed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization for its suitability in ecological restoration of alpine habitats. Details appear in Site-Specific Grasses and Herbs: Seed production and use for restoration of mountain environments. On Trifolium alpinum: “Because of its suitability for sites with a low pH as well as its deep taproot, alpine clover is an important component (and nitrogen supplier) of grassland mixtures that are appropriate to the habitat. Nutrient-rich forage with high digestibility.”

For additional photographs, see Wikimedia Commons (this photograph appears there too): Trifolium alpinum or Trifolium alpinum.

Trifolium alpinum

19 responses to “Trifolium alpinum”

  1. Cambree

    Great photo. Must be nice to see this along your hike. The view is nice too.

  2. Rob

    Absolutely stunningly beautiful shot. Thanks for the plant and the pic. Its a keeper.

  3. Mandy Macdonald


  4. Barb Mullinix

    “suitability in ecological restoration of alpine habitats” — and terraforming Mars?

  5. Bobbie

    Absolutely love the way you have laid out this photo with the fading background. Lovely. Thanks.

  6. Alphabet John

    Break-your-heart beautiful, both the plant and the view! Thanks for this–I need it this morning!

  7. sergioniebla

    Hermosa planta con sus flores la foto contrasta en forma muy bella con el paisaje … Felicidades Josef

  8. Earl Blackstock

    Another wonderful example of why I visit this site every morning to enjoy the beauty of this Earth. Thank you Josef and Daniel.

  9. Melissa in South Carolina

    I, too, needed this beautiful scene this morning — lovely foreground of alpine clover leading to the glaciers and mountains of Switzerland. Many thanks, Josef & Daniel! Questions about “nutrient-rich forage with high digestibility” : At this elevation, would that be marmots, pika, etc.? Foraging on the tundra? Eek!

  10. SoapySophia

    That is gorgeous! Exquisite. What a wonderful way to start the morning, as has been said. If I lived there I would walk my dog more . . .

  11. elizabeth a airhart

    oh the wonders of this earth are so many
    the photo looks like a fine painting
    charles martin heade comes to my mind
    i have been linking but i just want
    to enjoy and not ponder thank you

  12. linda miller

    They are so lovely.

  13. Sara

    On my way to work had not one, but TWO, flat tires. Finally arrived two hours late to see this exquisite photo to remind me what is really important. Thank you for the daily photos and this one especially.

  14. Susan

    Fabulous photo! Gardens are wonderful, and for many it’s the only place to view plants, but there’s nothing like seeing a plant like this in it’s natural place. The photo really captures that sense of magical encounter. Thanks.

  15. Sam

    Wow, that looks absolutely nothing like any Trifolium I’ve ever seen (think tick trefoil and its ilk).

  16. Harold Benson

    Nice pics,wld lùv 2 see it life.,.nice work.

  17. Eric Simpson

    Great photo, and a rather nicer looking plant than our local burr clover.

  18. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Wonderful contrasts, near and far.

  19. Carolina

    Incredible photo! I love it!

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