Trifolium michelianum

Balansa clover

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Trifolium michelianum Trifolium michelianum Trifolium michelianum

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Common name

Balansa clover

Scientific name

Trifolium michelianum Savi.

Conservation status and threats

NOT protected species in Bulgaria.

Description and identification

Balansa clover is an annual herbaceous plant. Stems few or numerous, (10) 20 - 50 (65) cm tall, erect or ascending, thick, strongly longitudinally veined or almost smooth, hollow or dense, succulent or dry, branched, often narrowed at the nodes, glabrous. Stipules ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, pale green, membranous, with 3 - 4 forked green veins, 2 - 4 times shorter than the petioles. Lower leaves on longer, 10 - 20 cm, filamentous glabrous petioles. Leaflets (6) 10 - 25 (30) mm long and (3) 6 - 12 (15) mm wide, obovate or broadly elliptical, more or less leathery, serrated along the edge, entire at the tip with 12 - 18 strongly convex and forked branched lateral veins, glabrous, on equal 0.5 mm long petiole; the middle leaflet slightly longer or wider than the lateral ones. Inflorescence peduncle glabrous, longer than the inflorescence leaves and 2 - 4 times longer than the heads, erect. The heads 15 - 25 (30) mm in diameter, spherical. Bracts lanceolate, acuminate, membranous, half or more shorter than the flower pedicels. Flower pedicels glabrous, initially equal to the calyx, when flowering 5 - 10 times longer than it, curved. Flowers numerous, 10 - 12 mm long, pendulous after flowering. Calyx about 5.0 mm long, glabrous, tube light green or straw-yellow, with 10 strongly convex veins, regular, teeth linearly acuminate, almost equal to each other, 3-4 times longer than the calyx tube or equal to it, greenish, with 1 vein, glabrous. Corolla pink, when blooming brown, 2 times longer than the calyx. The banner is 1/3 - 1/4 longer than the wings and the keel, elongated obovate, short pointed at the apex, strongly protruding veined. Wings with elongated obovate petiole. The keel is equal in length to the wings, obtuse at the top, and strongly veined; the petiole elliptically obovate, longer than the filamentous claw. Beans obovate, elongated obovate to almost round, dicotyledonous, shorter than the calyx, finely pubescent. Blooms April-May1.


In wet meadows and near stagnant waters, in the lowlands, foothills and lower mountain belt2.

Distribution in Bulgaria

Western and Eastern Stara Planina, Sofia region, Znepol region, Struma valley, Rila, Thracian lowland, Tundzha hilly plain, Middle and Eastern Rhodopes, up to 1300 meters altitude3.


1 Кожухаров, Ст. 1976. В: Флора на Н. Р. България, том VІ, издателство на БАН. София.

2 Кожухаров, Ст. 1976. Пос. източник.

3 Мишелова детелина - Атлас Фуражни бобови растения в България.

Trifolium michelianum на български

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