Trifolium repens
Common Name: white clover
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 3 to 10
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist soils in light shade, but tolerates full sun and dryish soils. Spreads aggressively by creeping stems.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Trifolium repens, commonly called white clover, is a dwarf, prostrate, mat-forming perennial which typically grows to 4" tall and spreads to 12" or more by stems which freely root along the ground at the nodes. Features trifoliate (3-parted), rich green leaves and globular, white flowers which bloom in late spring. Leaves and flowers appear on separate stalks from the creeping stems. Although native to Europe, this plant has naturalized throughout North America in lawns, fields and roadsides. Flowers are attractive to bees. White clover is a nitrogen fixing plant which is used in crop rotation. Also a good forage plant for livestock.

Genus name comes from the Latin name, from tri- meaning three and folium meaning a leaf because of the trifoliate leaves.

Specific epithet in Latin means creeping.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Can be aggressive and is considered by many to be a lawn weed, particularly by those who try to eradicate it from their lawns. Was a favorite food of rabbits in the Kemper Center gardens.

Garden Uses

Ground cover, lawn substitute, meadows or prairies.

Sometimes added to grass seed for lawns or grassy areas where grass alone does not grow and/or cover well.