Medium sized perennial legume, with strong taproots, and a collar from which grows new stems in the centre of the old ones. The plants are completely hairy.
The stems are cylindrical and hollow.
The leaves are alternate, trifoliate, with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf, and smooth edges.
Dense inflorescence is sub-bulbous, flower heads carry sessile flowers, crimsons or violets, the pods contain a yellowish seed, TKW of 1.6 G.
This is a cross-pollinating species, entomiphilous, diploid (2n = 14). Some varieties are tetraploid.
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- High forage yield
- Resistance to cold
- Adaptation to acidic soils
- Good energy and protein value
- Ease of use in silage
- Species combines well with the ryegrass hybrid
- Medium durability
- Sensitive to drought
- Difficult for hay making
- Delicate for pasture, as it presents risk of bloating
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