Trifolium Linn., Sp.P1. 764. 1753. Gen.Pl.ed.5.337.1754; Baker in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2:86.1876.
Annual or perennial herbs. Leaf trifoliolate, rarely (not in the local species) digitately 5-9-foliolate, leaflets mostly dentate; stipules adnate to petiole. Inflorescence a sessile or pedunculate head or short raceme or solitary. Bracts present or absent. Calyx variable, accrescent or inflated, teeth equal or unequal. Corolla pink, red to purple, white or yellow, persistent. Stamens diadelphous, 9+1, vexillary stamens free, anthers uniform. Ovary with few ovules, style incurved, stigma capitate. Fruit usually included in calyx, often indehiscent, 1-2 (-12)-seeded.
A genus with about 300 species, distributed in temperate regions with centres of distribution in the Mediterranean region, Ethiopia, California and Chile; locally represented by 8 species, including 4 introduced species.