Trifolium semipilosum

Click on images to enlarge

Stoloniferous foliage of cv. Safari.

Foliage (trifoliolate leaves), inflorescence and seeds.

Pods and seed.

Foliage and inflorescences.

A mixed cv. Safari and grass pasture in northern Australia.

A well established sward of cv. Safari in northern Australia.

From:‘t Mannetje, L. and Jones, R.M. (1992) Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 4. Forages. (Pudoc Scientific Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands). © Prosea Foundation.

Print Fact Sheet

Scientific name

Trifolium semipilosum Fresen.

Subordinate taxa:
Trifolium semipilosum Fresen. var. brunellii Thulin
Trifolium semipilosum Fresen. var. glabrescens J. B. Gillett
Trifolium semipilosum Fresen. var. intermedium Thulin
Trifolium semipilosum Fresen. var. semipilosum


var. semipilosum
Trifolium semipilosum Fresen. var. kilimanjaricum Baker f.
Trifolium semipilosum var. microphyllum Chiov.
var. glabrescens
Trifolium johnstonii
sensu Edwards & Bogdan
Trifolium johnstonii auct., non Oliver
Trifolium repens sensu Baker f.


Family: Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae) subfamily: Faboideae tribe: Trifolieae. Also placed in: Papilionaceae.

Common names

kenya clover, kenya white clover (English);  trefle africain, trefle du Kenya (French);  trevo do quenia (Portuguese).

Morphological description

Herbaceous perennial, initially with prostrate, pilose stems to c. 2 mm diameter radiating from crown and taproot, rooting freely at the nodes and forming dense mats;  stem apices ascend through taller grass to about 45 cm.  Leaves trifoliolate;  leaflets orbicular, elliptical, or oblong to cuneate-obovate 0.4-2.4 cm long and 0.4-2 cm wide;  glabrous above, sometimes with leaf markings of silver splash on the midrib and/or purple or brownish crescent across the leaflet;  pilose at the margins and on the midrib beneath and also on the undersides of the lower (outer) half of the lateral leaflets (except sometimes in var. glabrescens);  petiole pilose, (1-) 12-18 (-26) cm long depending on defoliation pressure.  Inflorescence more or less globose, about 2 cm across, comprising (4-) 20-( 40) flowered, on pilose peduncle, mostly longer than the petiole ;  papilionate flowers white to pale pink, 8-10 mm long.  Pods oblongoid, 5-6 mm long and 2-2.5 mm wide, containing 2-6 seeds.  Seeds ir