Scientific name Cynosurus cristatus – Trifolium pratense grassland
Common name Crested Dog’s-tail – Red Clover grassland
Community code GL3D


GL3D: Cynosurus cristatus – Trifolium pratense grassland  GL3D: Cynosurus cristatus – Trifolium pratense grassland  GL3D map: Cynosurus cristatus – Trifolium pratense grassland

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The main grass species of this rather low sward are Cynosurus cristatus and Agrostis capillaris, with Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum and Festuca rubra also constant. The broadleaved herbs comprise chiefly Plantago lanceolata, Trifolium repens, Prunella vulgaris, Trifolium pratense, Cerastium fontanum and Hypochaeris radicata. Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus is a constant beneath and can be abundant. There are often signs of some agricultural improvement, with Senecio jacobaea, Bellis perennis, Lolium perenne and Cirsium arvense being fairly frequent.



The Cynosurus cristatus – Trifolium pratense grassland may be regarded as a fairly standard neutral, semi-natural pasture community of mineral soils in the lowlands. It occurs on sloping, well-drained soils of medium fertility.



No sub-communities are described.


Similar communities

This community is similar in composition to the GL3C Festuca rubra – Trifolium pratense grassland and the GL3E Festuca rubra – Rhinanthus minor grassland. Its lower sward is typically more species-rich than either, however. It lacks the tussocky grasses found in GL3C and some of the more calcareous indicators found there (e.g. Galium verum, Briza media). In GL3C Agrostis stolonifera rather than Agrostis capillaris is a constant. GL3D differs from GL3E by lacking Rhinanthus minor and also by being somewhat more semi-improved.


Conservation value

This is a species-rich grassland community to which belong some examples of the EU HD Annex I priority habitat 6210 Orchid-rich calcareous grassland*.



These swards are managed as grazing land (typically for cattle). The main threats to these grasslands include improvement and abandonment.