Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum)
Despite its scientific name, Alsike clover is not of hybrid origin. When it was first named it was thought to be a cross between red clover and white clover. However, it was later found to be a separate species. Alsike clover is unique amongst agricultural clovers as it adapted well to wet soil. It grows particularly well in northern latitudes and at high elevations. The real potential of Alsike clover in Ireland is in the fact that it grows well on soils that are too acidic for red clover (pH < 6.0) and tolerates prolonged waterlogging.
- Useful replacement for red clover when it has been grown in the same place for too long.
- Suitable for wet conditions and low pH soil. Alsike clover will tolerate wetter soils better than other clovers.
- A good component in permanent pasture mixes to increase resilience and diversity.
- Plants grow to around 50cm in height and have small white/pink or pink flowers.
- The nectar and pollen rich flowers are an excellent food source for honey bees.
- Not to be used in areas where horses might graze.
Growing Alsike CloverSowing: April to September. Seed is small so should be broadcast or shallow drilled. The ground should be rolled afterwards to get good soil contact with seed.Persistence: Perennial. 2-3 years.Soil Preference: Needs moisture and will grow in wetter and more acidic soils than other clovers.