trefoil

trefoil (trēˈfoil) [key] [O.Fr., = three-leaf], in botany, name for several plants, chiefly of the pulse family, having trifoliate leaves. Best known of the trefoils is clover. The bird's-foot trefoil ( Lotus corniculatus ) is an Old World forage plant and weed that has been naturalized in North America; the prairie trefoil ( L. americanus ) is a related native American plant. The shrubby trefoil is the hop tree. Tick trefoil is a name for the tickseed, or beggarweed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on trefoil from Fact Monster:

  • beggarweed - beggarweed beggarweed or tick trefoil,leguminous plant (Desmodium purpureum) native to the West ...
  • tickseed - tickseed tickseed, name sometimes used for the bur marigold, coreopsis, tick trefoil or beggarweed, ...
  • clover - clover clover, any plant of the genus Trifolium, leguminous hay and forage plants of the family ...
  • blazonry - blazonry blazonry , science of describing or depicting armorial bearings. The introduction, since ...
  • tracery - tracery tracery, bands or bars of stone, wood, or other material, either subdividing an opening or ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants