Living Crop Museum


Wilmington College 2005 

 Leguminous Forage Crops

Common Name:

Crimson Clover

Latin Name:

Trifolium incarnatum



Crop Origin:



Annual Legume

Date Planted:

9 April, 2004

Growth Stages in Ohio

Crimson Clover Jan 1 06.JPG (2672339 bytes) Crimson clover feb 6 06.JPG (1540173 bytes) Crimson clover March 4 06.JPG (3275543 bytes) Crimson clover Apr 4 06.JPG (2945401 bytes) Crimson clover May 5 06.JPG (2835057 bytes) Crimson clover 3 June 05.JPG (3406121 bytes)
January February March April May June
Crimson clover 1 July 05.JPG (3683600 bytes) Crimson clover 7aug05.JPG (2645447 bytes) Crimson clover 3 sep 05.JPG (2461761 bytes) Crimson clover 1 oct 05.JPG (2471137 bytes) Crimson clover 4 Nov 05.JPG (2617234 bytes) Crimson clover 2 dec 05.JPG (3109306 bytes)
July August


October November December

Cultivation in Ohio

Primary Uses:



Crimson Clover should be covered with about 1/4 inch of soil.  It is better for the seed to be on the soil surface than to be covered with more than 1/2 inch of soil.  Best planting dates for southern Ohio are between August 1st and October 15th.

 Seeding Rate:

23-30 lbs pure live seed/acre


Crimson Clover is best suited to sandy, but not droughty soils.  It can be productive on well drained clay soils.  It yields best with at least medium levels of phosphorus and potassium.  Application of about 2 lbs. Boron/acre may be required if reseeding on sandy soil.  Crimson clover is more tolerant of acidity than some legumes but normally does best when the soil pH is between 5.8 - 6.5.


Several species of insects may damage the foliage, however foliage-damaging insects are usually not a problem.


Crown and Stem rot may be a problem during cool, damp weather.  Removal of some of the foliage by grazing will be helpful in some cases.  


Crimson Clover should not be grazed until the plants are 4-6 inches tall.  Reseeding is required each year and grazing and cutting must be stopped when the crop begins to bloom.  Once mature seed have been produced the field can be grazed or cut for hay.  Mixtures of Crimson Clover and winter annual grasses make excellent quality hay or silage.  Regrowth from Crimson Clover after cutting is usually poor, so only one harvest can be expected to contain significant quantities of clover.


Overly mature blooms of Crimson Clover may contain barbed hairs which may be dangerous to horses.  Harvesting promptly after the clover begins to bloom avoids the problem.  It is also possible for animals grazing Crimson Clover to bloat, but much less likely than for white clover or alfalfa.



Crimson_ Clover_ Leaf.jpg (1441440 bytes) Crimson_ Clover_ plant 2.JPG (2321779 bytes)


 Crimson_ Clover_ flower1.jpg (1271196 bytes) Crimson_ Clover_ flower5.JPG (1075857 bytes)


Crimson_Clover_seed.JPG (1258292 bytes) Crimson_clover_seedhead.JPG (2214276 bytes)


Crimson Clover map.jpg (31475 bytes) 

More Info: