This is a clover, but not just any clover. It is the most ornamental of all Clovers and definitely worth adding to your garden. Best of all, your friends will never guess what it is.
Red Feather is easy to grow and does not spread by runners. It has huge, purple-red flower heads that are silver when in bud and are borne on long stems. The plant makes a nice clump and looks good all summer. The flowers are peculiar in that each stem has two flowers, one larger than the other. The large one opens while the smaller one is still developing. Just as the large one is finished flowering, the second one opens. The result is a longer bloom time.
It is great for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, and it’s a good cut flower. You should deadhead it unless you want some seedlings.
The name for this plant is a bit confusing. It is listed as T. rubens, T. rubens ‘Red Feather’ and as T. rubens with a common name of Red Feather Clover. Jelitto Seeds considers the term Red Feather to be a marketing name. I have tried the so-called named variety and the straight species. Both look the same to me but the species might seed around a bit more. I suspect that the cultivar ‘Red Feather’ does not actually exist. In any event, this is a must have plant.
Trifolium rubens ‘Red Feather’
Life Cycle: perennial
Height: 60 cm (2 ft)
Bloom Time: mid summer
Natural Range: Central and south Europe
Habitat: Grows in grassy places next to forests and forest glades
Cultivation of Trifolium rubens:
Light: full sun or part shade
Soil: normal, well draining to sandy soil, pH: 6 – 7.5
Water: draught tolerant
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8
Propagation: division in spring, comes true from seed and blooms first year after germination