white clover

(Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

Conservation Status
white clover
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


White clover is a 4 to 10 tall, creeping, perennial forb that rises from a shallow, branching taproot and from rootlets formed by the creeping stem. It often forms colonies.

The stems are light green, hairless and up to 1 long. They creep along the ground and can root at the nodes. They send up leaves and flower heads on separate long stalks.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on hairless leaf stalks. The leaflets are elliptical, hairless, to ¾ long and wide, and may have a shallow notch at the tip. They usually have a pale, crescent-shaped marking on the upper surface, though this may fade or be absent. The margins are finely-toothed.

Flowers are borne in globular, head-like clusters at the end of long, unbranched, leafless, hairless stalks. The flowering stalks are usually taller than the leaves. The flower heads are ¼ to ¾ across. Each head has 20 to 50 flowers.

The flowers are pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a banner, 2 wings, and a keel formed by two petals fused together at the tip. Each individual flower is borne on a short stalk. The petals are white and may be tinted with pink. They gradually turn brown as they age.

The fruit is a seed pod containing 3 or 4 seeds.




4 to 10


Flower Color


White or white tinted with pink, never red; gradually turning brown


Similar Species


Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum) is a much larger plant, 1 to 2½ tall. The stems are erect or ascending, not creeping, and they do not root at the nodes. Flowers and leaves are borne on the same branched stem. The leaflets have no markings on the upper surface and are not indented or pointed at the tip. The flower heads are more pink. Though not uncommon, it is much less common.

Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum ssp. incarnatum) stems are densely hairy. The leaflets have no markings on the upper surface. The petals are crimson red.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a much larger plant, 1 to 2½ tall. The stems are hairy and do not root at the nodes. Flowers and leaves are borne on the same branched stem. The leaflets have a pale V-shaped marking on the upper surface and are not indented or pointed at the tip. The petals are pink or magenta. The individual flowers are stalkless.


Disturbed sites, roadsides, lawns, trails.




June to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28, 29, 30.




Native to Northern Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.




Very common

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  


Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae  


  Genus Trifolium (clovers)  
  Subgenus Trifolium  
  Section Trifoliastrum  
  Species Trifolium repens (white clover)  

Subordinate Taxa






Amoria repens

Trifolium occidentale

Trifolium repens var. biasolettii

Trifolium repens var. giganteum

Trifolium repens var. repens


Common Names


Dutch clover

ladino clover

white clover













The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos


    white clover   white clover  

Flower Head

    white clover   white clover  


    white clover   white clover  


    white clover   white clover  



  Trifolium repens
Susanne Wiik
  Trifolium repens  

Hvitkløver, white clover

  White Clover
Wez Smith
  White Clover  

White Clover (Trifolium repens).

  Trifolium repens
Matt Lavin
  Trifolium repens  

Introduced stoloniferous perennial herb, stems prostrate, leaflets serrate at least distally, terminal leaflet sessile like the lateral leaflets (which is true of all Trifolium species), flowering peduncles about 15 cm tall, pod 1-few-seeded, inconspicuous and concealed by the calyx, fruiting head retains the faded dry petals (which is true of all Trifolium species), common in lawns, fields, pastures, introduced as a cover crop.

  White Clover
Andree Reno Sanborn
  White Clover  

Trifolium repens

  Trifolium repens WHITE CLOVER
Frank Mayfield
  Trifolium repens WHITE CLOVER  



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Other Videos
  White Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens) ~ LuminEarth's How to Identify Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants
Becki Baumgartner

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2010

WARNING: Only use undamaged white clover plants when foraging. Damaged plants can contain a cyanogenic glycoside that can cause asphyxiation at the cellular level. The cyanogenic glycocide is not normally found in plants except when there has been plant injury from cutting, grazing, freezing or wilting. For this reason it is very important to make sure that you only use fresh, undamaged plants when foraging. This also means that you CANNOT ferment white clover flowers as the fermentation process will create cyanogenic acid.

Appearance: Clovers have leaves in sets of three with a flower head ranging in color from white, cream to pinkish tinged.

Harvesting: White Dutch Clover is found in lawns, fields, pastures, and disturbed areas. The young leaves are best harvested before the plant flowers.

Edible: The flowers and leaves of White Dutch Clover are edible both raw and cooked. The flowers are the sweetest part of the plant. White Dutch Clover leaves are edible raw or cooked and can be used in salads, soups, casseroles, etc. Fresh or dried clover flowers make a delicious herbal tea. Clovers are legumes, so they provide a protein that compliment whole grains. I like to use the flower heads in stir-fry with rice, or in baking. Make sure to only use completely fresh leaves and flowers.

Medicinal: An Infusion of White Dutch Clover flowers and leaves is good for detoxification and rebuilding. White clover was used ty The Cherokee, Iroquois and Mohegian Indians to purify blood and cleanse boils, sores, wounds, etc. White Clover is stimulating to the liver and gallbladder, and creates an overall strengthening and nourishing. Also used for gout, arthritis, skin disorders, and aids. Clover tea is used for bronchial coughs, whooping coughs and tuberculosis. The tea is also anti-inflammatory, calming, expectorant and antispasmodic.

For the most current and detailed information on this plant, please visit our FREE Online Guide to Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants at http://www.luminearth.com/luminearthsguide/.

Disclaimer: The statements in these videos are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by or sanctioned by the FDA. Only your doctor can properly diagnose and treat any disease or disorder. The remedies discussed herein are not meant to treat or cure any type of disease. The user understands that the above information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or a pharmacist. Make sure you can positively identify a plant before ingesting it. Some plants are poisonous, and misidentification could possibly result in serious illness or death.

  Weed Of The Week #789 - White Clover (Air Date 5/19/13)
AgPhD's channel

Published on May 27, 2013

It's our Weed of the Week, White Clover (and just to clarify, a weed is defined, by us, as any plant that is growing where a grower determines it should not be growing). For example, if White Clover is growing where you desire only lawn grass, White Clover is a weed.

  White Clover Part 1 of 4

Published on Mar 16, 2012

Spring of the year before the bloom.
We will visit this plant in June again

This is part 1 of 4 on White Clover

  White Clover part 2

Published on Apr 18, 2012

Dry and grind the flower heads

  White Clover

Published on Jul 5, 2011

White Clover good edible plant.




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