White Flowered Forbs

White Flowered Forbs
African rue
Broadleaved pepperweed
Field bindweed
Hary whitetop
Horehound
Lens-podded hoarycress
Onionweed
Oxeye daisy
Poison hemlock
White clover
White sweetclover
Whitetop

 

White Clover
Trifolium repens L. (Pea family, Fabaceae)
 

Description

White clover is a cool-season perennial with a prostrate, stoloniferous growth form, 5 to 8 inches long. Leaves and roots develop along the stolon at the nodes. It also develops a taproot.

Leaves: The alternate leaves are composed of 3 leaflets (trifoliate), which may or may not have a “crescent” or “watermark” on the upper surface; membranous stipules lanceolate to ovate, 5/32 to 13/16 inch long; leaf stalk long; leaflets obovate or oval, 3/16 to 13/16 inch long, finely toothed; flowering stalks 2 to 12 inches long.

Flowers: Flowers June to September; the flower heads, each consisting of 40 to 100 flowers, are borne on long stalks from the leaf axils; flowers white but may have a pink hue; flower stalks 2 to 12 inches long; flower heads spherical, 9/16 to 1 inch in diameter; flower stems less than 1/8 inch long, reflexed in age; flowers 3/16 to 3/8 inch long; calyx 1/8 to 3/16 inch long, tube white, teeth green; corolla 1/8 to 3/8 inch long, white, sometimes with pink tinge.

Fruit: The fruit is a legume, less than 3/16 inch long, with 4 to 5 seeds.

Habitat

White clover adapts only to soil with moderate to good moisture within elevations that generally range from 3,500 to 8,500 feet.

Propagation/Phenology

Reproduces by seed and by stoloniferous stems. White clover produces roughly 776,000 seeds per pound.

Comments

Native to Europe; white clover rapidly develops a deep fleshy taproot. Mature plants have roots 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter and 5 to 8 feet deep. Many large and numerous smaller branches, all well supplied with laterals, spread rather widely and penetrate deeply, furnishing the plant with an excellent absorbing system. White clover may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed making it a concern in riparian and moist meadow habitats. This species generally occurs as a weed in wildland areas of the Southwestern Region rather than as an invasive plant.

Collage of images of white clover

 
Forest Service Shield
Invasive plants and weeds of the national forests and grasslands in the southwestern region
White clover plants White clover flowers, both fres and mature White clover flowers White clover flowers and foliage