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Trifolium repens

Trifolium repens L.

Trifolium repens L. var. atropurpureum hort.

White Clover

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusTrifolium“Three-leaved,” for the 3-leaf clusters
SpeciesrepensHaving creeping and rooting stems

About plant names...

White clover is native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. It has been introduced to many other places as a pasture crop, including North America, where it is now abundant. White clovers are common in lawns. If you are battling them as weeds, you might want to reconsider, since they and other clovers trap nitrogen from the air, converting it to fertilizer. Clovers help lawns stay healthy.

Here is a comparison among red, white, alsike, and crimson clovers:

 

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

  You are here
Trifolium repens

Trifolium hybridum

Trifolium incarnatum
Common Name

White Clover

Alsike Clover

Crimson Clover
Plant Plant stems are 4-16" (10-40 cm) long, but often lying on their sides, so these clovers are usually close to the ground 12-24" (30-60 cm) tall, typically somewhat smaller than red clover and larger than white clover. It has multiple hairless, fairly flexible stems 20" (50 cm) high.
Flowers On flower stalks 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long. Flowerheads are ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) around, rounded, white, sometimes pinkish ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, and may be pink on the bottom, grading to white on the top; or pink throughout. The shade of pink is lighter than with red clover Deep red, forming rounded conical flowerheads about 1" (2.5 cm) tall and ⅝" (1.7 cm) around. Flowering occurs during April to May.
Leaves

 

In groups of 3. Leaflets are oval, ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) long, with a slight indentation at the end. Each leaflet has a pale green “V” close to the base and slightly toothed leaf edges

 

In groups of three, each about ¾" (2 cm) long, and attached directly to the stem that supports the leaf cluster. Leaves are oval-shaped, with smooth-appearing edges that have tiny teeth, and no chevrons
Leaves are round or oval, in groups of three, each roughly at right angles to the others.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Waste ground, pastures, open fields, roadsides, railroads Moist meadows near woodlands, pastures, abandoned fields, and roadsides  
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Very common Common, but less so than red and white clovers  

 

Identification: Plant stems are 4-16" (10-40 cm) long, but often lying on their sides, so these clovers are usually close to the ground. Leaves are in groups of 3 as with all clovers. Leaflets are oval, ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) long, with a slight indentation at the end. Each leaflet bears a pale green “V” close to the base, and slightly toothed leaf edges. Flowers are on stalks 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long. Flowerheads are ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) around, and rounded. Flowers are usually white, but may be quite pink.

Online References:

Trifolium repens in Paghat's Garden

Trifolium repens on Missouriplants.com

Trifolium repens on Wikipedia

Trifolium repens on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Trifolium repens at Illinois Wildflowers

Trifolium repens on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Trifolium repens on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Trifolium repens on Montana Plant Life

Trifolium repens on CalPhotos

Trifolium repens on eFloras

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½" (9.8 × 6.6 cm)

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/10/2005 · Pepperell, MA

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/22/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 4½ × 3½" (12 × 9.8 cm)

Trifolium repens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 2 × 1¾" (5.1 × 4.6 cm)

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3 × 3½" (7.6 × 9.2 cm)

Trifolium repens (White Clover)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Range:

About this map...