Trifolium burchellianum subsp. burchellianum or Burchell’s clover is a creeping, sometimes ascending perennial herb that reaches 60 cm. It has a strong taproot and roots at nodes that touch the ground. The three-foliolate leaves have rounded wedge-shaped leaflets. Leaflet margins are finely toothed.
The heads of purple flowers grow on long, erect peduncles above the foliage. Dark lines are found near the pale base of the corolla banner of the flowers in picture. Flowering lasts from spring to early autumn.
The habitat is grassland and forest margins from the Western Cape to Limpopo along the eastern parts of the country, coastal and inland. The plant is also found in tropical Africa. Another subspecies, T. burchellianum subsp. johnstonii with larger flowers and leaflets, grows in (at least) Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
The plant forms part of some legume pastures mixes (Manning, 2009; Blundell, 1987; www.tropicalforages.info).