The six major legumes are Alfalfa, Sweet clover, Red clover, White clover, Birdsfoot trefoil and Crownvetch.


Alfalfa is an excellent forage producer. It is best suited to well drained soils.

Alfalfa is identified by the "sawtooth" tip of the leaflet.

The bloom of alfalfa has multiple flowers. Color may vary from white to purple.

Sweet Clover

Sweet clover is unlike alfalfa in that the serrations occur all around the leaflet

There are two types of Sweet clover: yellow or white flowered.

Sweet clover is not a true clover--it resembles alfalfa more than clover. Can you tell that it is alfalfa on the left and sweet clover on the right?

Red clover and white clover are true clovers. As with all true clovers, the three leaflets are attached to the stem at the same point.

Red Clover

The most widely planted clover is red clover, mostly because it is easy to establish.

It does well in a wide range of soil conditions.

Red clover stems and leaves are hairy.

There is often a pale green, V-shaped mark on the top side of the leaf. The flowers form a small, reddish colored ball.

White (Ladino) Clover

White clover does not grow upright like red clover.

The main stems trail along the ground with only the leaf and flower stems growing upward.

White clover does not have hair on stems and leaves like red clover. White clovers vary in growth height. Short growing white clovers are referred to as Dutch types while tall growing white clovers are referred to as Ladino types. There are are also white clovers in between these extremes referred to as intermediate type white clovers.

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