Crimson Clover – a fast growing leguminous cover crop. Sow in the fall or spring for a quick growing and robust nitrogen fixer or sow in the summer as a slow growing annual. Seed it beneath fruit trees or shrubs or anywhere you have bare soil that needs covered! Till it in for maximum nitrogen release just before its flowers open or let them open to reveal their stunning crimson color and feed the bees.
Trifolium incarnatum, known as crimson clover or Italian clover, is a species of clover in the family Fabaceae, native to most of Europe. The species name incarnatum means “blood red”.
This upright annual herb grows to 20-50 cm tall, unbranched or branched only at the base. The leaves are trifoliate with a long petiole, each leaflet hairy, 8-16 mm across, with a truncated or bilobed apex. The flowers are produced throughout the spring and summer, rich red or crimson, congested on an elongated spike inflorescence 3-5 cm tall and 1.5 cm broad; the individual flowers are up to 10-13 mm long and have five petals. The banner of each flower does not sit upright, but folds forward.