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Trifolium alpinum


Trifolium alpinum is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common name alpine clover.<ref>Template:PLANTS</ref> It is native to the Alps.<ref name=fao>Site specific grasses and herbs: Trifolium alpinum. FAO.</ref>

This plant is a perennial herb with a large taproot which can be 1 metre long and 1 centimetre wide. The short stems bear ternate leaves divided into three leaflets each up to 5 cm long. The fragrant flowers are pink to light red, tinged with purple.<ref name=fao/>

This plant grows at elevations between 1700 and 2500 m,<ref name=fao/> sometimes up to 2800 m,<ref name=cod>Codignola, A., et al. (1985). Preliminary studies on the photosynthetic structures of Trifolium alpinum L. as related to productivity. Ann Bot 55(4) 509-23.</ref> in subalpine and alpine climates. It commonly grows on acidic soils.<ref name=fao/>

In alpine regions this plant provides an important forage for livestock.<ref name=lauga>Lauga, B., et al. (2009). Two lineages of Trifolium alpinum (Fabaceae) in the Pyrenees: evidence from random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Acta Botanica Gallica 156(3) 317-30.</ref> It is also good for stabilizing sites of erosion at high elevations.<ref name=pera>Peratoner, G., et al. (2007). Growth of Trifolium alpinum: Effects of soil properties, symbionts and pathogens. Ecological Engineering 30(4) 349–355.</ref>