White Clover (Trifolium repens)

White Clover (Trifolium repens) Flower

White Clover (Trifolium repens) also known as Dutch Clover is a perennial forb and member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae) and order Fabales. Trifolium is from the Latin for "three leaves." Repens is Latin for "creeping." The flowers, pea-like and about ½ inch (1.2 centimeters) long, are in rounded heads about one inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Each flower is white, sometimes tinged with pink. There are from 40 to 100 flowers per head. This plant flowers from May to September.

White Clover (Trifolium repens) Leaves

The leaves consist of three ovate leaflets. Each leaflet is ¾ to one inch (2 to 2.54 centimeters) long and has a light v-shaped pattern outline in the middle of the leaf with the bottom of the v pointing to the top end of the leaf. See the photograph above. These leaves are the basis for the shamrock symbol. Occasionally, the leaflets may be found with four leaves called a four-leaf clover.

This plant can grow up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) high.

The fruit is a seed pod containing yellow to brown seeds. Each seed is about 0.04 inches (one millimeter) long.

The root system is simple but is extensively branched. This plant will creep along the ground and root at nodes. It prefers clay soil.

This plant is noted for its nitrogen fixation, thereby enriching the soil. It is also useful for stabilizing soil.

White Clover is eatable in various forms but is considered invasive and a noxious plant in some states because it may displace more desirable plants. It is used as a foraging crop.

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