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What Is White Clover?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

White clover, also known as Trifolium repens, is a flowering weed found throughout the United States. It is often planted in pastures, but also grows wild on many lawns. This plant is characterized by tiny white flowers with a light yellow center atop a dark green stem. The leaves are heart-shaped and come in clusters of three or four.

This plant is a perennial, which means it comes up year after year. It may be found in clusters on a lawn or open field. There is a tendency for this plant to spread in width if left unchecked, so some patches of white clover can be rather large.

White clover is normally around six inches (15.24 cm) tall. It may first be noticed in spring, and blooms last until early fall. During these months, the plant blooms continuously unless there is a severe drought in the area.

White clover is a perennial plant.
White clover is a perennial plant.

The leaves and stems of a white clover are generally dark green. These leaves are typically found in clusters of three, but there may occasionally be four in a cluster. The blooms appear sporadically throughout the leaf clusters rather than each one having a single blossom.

Blooms are white and somewhat round with a yellow or green center. The bloom contains many short thin petals, which can be easily separated from the cone-like center. These blossoms may turn brown or yellow whenever they are diseased or do not receive adequate precipitation.

Bees are often attracted to white clover. For this reason, people who have this plant growing on their lawn should wear shoes whenever they are walking outdoors. When this plant is grown in a pasture, it can be a good source of honey.

Clovers can be easily removed by hand.
Clovers can be easily removed by hand.

The fact that this plant is pollinated by bees often means it can spread over time. This is not usually a problem for homeowners because white clover can easily be mowed down with a lawnmower. Even so, it will generally reappear a few days after the grass has been cut. The plant may become dormant or die altogether in fall, but reappear the following spring unless the lawn is chemically treated.

White clover has a very light yet sweet aroma. Although this perennial is considered a weed, it can nonetheless be very attractive. It can also prevent other types of weeds from growing in a lawn, so homeowners who have this plant may want to let it grow naturally rather than try to eradicate it.

Discussion Comments


I can remember the sight of my grandfather's fields when they were grown over with white clover. It was like a sea of rice waving around in the wind.

My grandfather farmed most of his fields but he always had some land that he was letting lie unplanted so that it could rebuild its nutrients. It was amazing to watch the cycle of vegetation that would sprout up in the field over the course of a spring/summer/fall. Random flowers, trees, weeds of all sorts. It was more interesting than the rows of soybeans planted everywhere else.

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    • White clover is a perennial plant.
      By: Farmer
      White clover is a perennial plant.
    • Clovers can be easily removed by hand.
      By: vectorass
      Clovers can be easily removed by hand.