Crimson clover is commonly used in agriculture as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop. The plant uses associations with Rhizobia bacteria to fix nitrogen. The plant is widely grown as a protein-rich forage crop for cattle and other livestock, and is suitable to be made into hay. It is commonly grazed by domestic and wild ruminants. It is often used for roadside erosion control, as well as beautification, however it tends to eliminate all other desirable spring and early-summer species of native vegetation in the area where it is planted.
Sprouts of crimson clover being sold in the produce section of a grocery store
Crimson clover’s flowers and the sprouts, which are visually and gustatorily similar to alfalfa sprouts are edible. They can be added as an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes, made into tisanes, and can be dried and ground into flour. 100 grams of crimson clover sprouts contains 23 calories, 4g of protein, 2g of fiber, and provides 38 percent of the RDI of vitamin K, as well as 14 percent of the RDI of vitamin C. It has extremely small amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and magnesium.Like all raw eaten sprouts, they possess the risk of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Bacillus cereus contamination. However, many reputable facilities in the United States attempt to regulate and test these crops for such bacteria.