up close of arrowleaf clover

Arrowleaf Clover

Trifolium Vesiculosum Savi

Arrowleaf is a drought-hardy clover with very distinct arrowhead-shaped leaves, pronounced veins, and distinguishing white markings.

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Drought hardy.

Arrowleaf is drought hardy! However, arrowleaf does have its limitations. It doesn’t like wet soils, acid soils or shade. The shade factor comes into play if it gets too tall, which causes lower leaves to die and become susceptible to disease. It is best to graze at 6 inches, let it regrow, and either graze again or take for hay.

Great for late spring forage.

Arrowleaf is a favorite among Southerners who want late spring forage. It can be sown in the fall with other legumes, such as crimson, ryegrass, rye and oats. Arrowleaf delivers abundant tonnage late in the spring, filling the last forage gap before the warm season grasses kick in.

Good eating.

With upright growth of up to 48 inches, Arrowleaf can be grazed or cut for hay. It produces 1.5-2 tons of dry matter/acre in one growing season. Aside from horses, livestock and wildlife willingly forage on Arrowleaf, without worry of bloat.

Coat for optimal performance.

In order to achieve optimal nitrogen fixation ability, arrowleaf clover needs to be inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii. This is best achieved with Nitro-Coat®. A detailed brochure on arrowleaf is available from the Oregon Clover Commission at OregonClover.org (source of photo, too.)

As far back as 1972, Auburn University researchers understood that coating arrowleaf clover resulted in higher forage yields. This data was first published in the Agronomy Journal #64. In one treatment the seed received inoculum and a coating to seal in the inoculum. On the second treatment the inoculum was put on the seed, without a coating. The table shows the results of the trial.

Learn more about Nitro-Coat®.

Coated vs. Uncoated Arrowleaf

Seed TreatmentDM/Acre
Coated Seed870lbs1,520lbs
Uncoated Seed290lbs500lbs
Increase due to coating580lbs1,020lbs
Wade, Hoveland and Hiltbold 
Auburn University 1972

Arrowleaf Clover Specifications

Arrowleaf Clover Specifications

zonesZones 7,8, and upper part of zone 9
ease of establishmentGood
seeding rate straight5-10 lbs/ac
seeding rate mix3-8 lbs/ac
seeding timeSeptember-early November
seeding depth1/4-3/8 inch
seeding methodBroadcast or drilled (preferred)
method of killing/suppressionMowing; grazing; chemical
optimal germination temperatureNight temperatures >40 F
seedling emergence/vigorFair
reseeding potentialExcellent
root typeTap
grazing potentialGood
hay potentialGood
use with wildlifeGood
use in orchardsGood
use with row cropsGood
use with other grasses/legumesExcellent
Bees/beneficial insectsGood
compaction controlFair
erosion controlFair
weed suppression potentialGood
green manure/cover crop useGood
spreading capabilityFair
N contribution potentialGood
DM potentialGood
Forage qualityGood
harvest time frame (late/early/year-round)Late
number of harvest/yrUp to 3 per growing season
other commentsOverseeding bermudagrass sods with arrowleaf clover in mixtures with rye and/or ryegrass can provide excellent winter-spring grazing
bloat riskRare
disease susceptibilityModerate
insect/nematode riskModerate
cold toleranceFair
traffic toleranceGood
heat toleranceGood
drought toleranceGood
shade tolerancePoor
dry soil toleranceGood
wet soil tolerancePoor
pH rangeOptimum pH range is 5.8-6.5
required fertility (P, K, other nutrients)Not tolerant of acid soils or low fertility; responds to P and K fertilization