White clover

August 10, 2015

Trifolium repens L

Life cycle

Mat-forming perennial.


Alternate, compound with three stalkless, egg-shaped leaflets. Leaflets are smooth with small teeth along the margins, a slight notch at the tip and usually a whitish V-shaped watermark. Trifoliolate leaves are found on long petioles that arise perpendicular to the prostrate stems.

white clover leaf
Trifoliolate leaf of white clover.


Plants spread by prostrate, creeping stolons that root at the nodes and are generally smooth.

white clover stem
White clover stolon.

Flowers and fruit

White or pinkish white, globe-shaped flower heads occur at the ends of long flower stalks. Each head may contain up to 85 individual flowers. Fruit are small, three- to six-seeded pods.

white clover flower
White clover flower head.


Seeds and stolons.

Similar weeds

Red clover (T. pratense L.) Differs by having a more robust size and upright growth, red to purple flower heads, and larger, usually hairy trifoliolate leaves.

red clover flower red clover leaf
Red clover flower head (left). Trifoliolate leaf of red clover (right).

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