Information on Hop Trefoil

Common Name: Hop Trefoil
Scientific Name: Trifolium campestre
Irish Name: Seamair dhuimhche
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Hop Trefoil could sometimes be confused with:

Medick, Black, Trefoil, Lesser,

This is an extremely pretty annual wildflower which grows on dry grassland, in fields and on sandy soil and waste, disturbed ground. From June to August, the bright yellow flowers (up to 5mm long) are borne in round, globose heads (10-15mm across) of 20-30 flowers, each little peaflower becoming brown and giving the plant hop-like heads. The trefoil leaves have no point and the middle leaf has a longer stalk than those on either side. This is a low-growing plant, only reaching about 25cm high, is hairy and is generally more prevalent the south-eastern part of Ireland. It is a native plant and it belongs to the family Fabaceae.

I first came across this little plant growing in Killiney, Co Dublin in 1977 and I photographed it near Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford in 2009.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Trefoil, Hop
Trefoil, Hop

The species name for this plant campestre means 'of the fields'. Its foliage is good for feeding livestock and it also has the capacity to replenish the soil. In this way it is not seen as a threat to agriculture.