Egyptian Clover
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Egyptian Clover
A Naturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Egyptian Clover, Berseem clover • Hindi: बरसीम Barseem
Botanical name: Trifolium alexandrinum    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Trifolium alexandrium

Egyptian Clover is an annual clover cultivated mostly as fodder crop, mainly for cattle. It is an important winter crop in Egypt, where it may have been cultivated since ancient times, and was introduced into northern India in the early nineteenth century. It is also grown in the United States and Europe. The plant reaches 1-3.3 ft tall with erect or rising up stems. Its stems are hollow, branching at the base, with alternate leaves bearing 4-5 cm long x 2-3 cm broad leaflets. Flowers are yellowish-white and form dense, elliptical clustered heads about 2 cm in diameter. The flowers must be cross-pollinated by honey bees to produce seeds. The fruit is a pod containing one single white to purplish-red seed Berseem clover can also be used as a cover crop suppressing weeds or as a green manure crop providing nitrogen to following crops. As a green manure crop, berseem is capable of providing nitrogen to following crops. Egyptian Clover is Egypt to Pakistan, cultivated in India.

Identification credit: Tabish, Nidhan Singh Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand & Kaithal, Haryana.

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