Trifolium pilulare, Ball cotton clover,
Hebrew: תלתן הכדורים, Arabic: النفل الحبّي

Scientific name:  Trifolium pilulare Boiss.
Common name:  Ball cotton clover
Hebrew name:   תלתן הכדורים
Arabic name:   النفل الحبّي
Plant Family:  Papilionaceae, פרפרניים

Flora, Israel, Trifolium pilulare, Ball cotton clover, תלתן הכדורים

Life form:  Therophyte, annual
Stems:  6-25 cm in height; erect or decumbent, densely hairy stems; branching from the base
Leaves:  Alternate, compound, trifoliate
Flowers:  White
Fruits / pods:  ovoid pods hidden under a dense cluster of sterile flowers forming a fruitbearing head, similar to cotton; seeds, rounded, black, smooth
Flowering Period:   February, March, April, May
Habitat:   Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Trifolium pilulare, Ball cotton clover, תלתן הכדורים

Derivation of the botanical name:
Trifolium, Latin tri, tres, three; folium, leaf; three-leaved.
pilulare, pill-like, gland-like; with globular fruit.
The Hebrew name: תלתן, taltan, clover, trefoil, from tlat (Aramaic) three; the clover is recalled in the Mishnah Kilayim 2:5, "[a field} of clover among which grew up..."
  • The standard author abbreviation Boiss. is used to indicate Pierre Edmond Boissier (1810 – 1885), a Swiss botanist, explorer and mathematician.