- White clover
color = lightgreen
name = White Clover
image_width = 240px
divisio = Magnoliophyta
genus = "Trifolium"
species = "T. repens"
binomial = "Trifolium repens"
binomial_authority = L.
White Clover ("Trifolium repens") is a
speciesof clovernative to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. It has been widely introduced elsewhere in the world as a pasturecrop, and is also common in many grassy areas in North America.
It is a
herbaceous perennial plant. It is low growing, with heads of whitish flowers, often with a tinge of pink or cream. The heads are generally 1.5-2 cm wide, and are at the end of 7 cm pedunclesor flower stalks Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso, "Weeds of The Northeast", (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), Pp. 236-237.] . The leaves are trifoliolate, smooth, elliptic to egg-shaped and long-petioled. The stems function as stolons, so white clover often forms mats with the stems creeping as much as 18 cm a year, and rooting at the nodes .
Cultivation and Uses
White clover grows in turfgrass, crops, and landscapes. It is also found in a limited range of different field type environments. White clover can tolerate close mowing, and can grow on many different types and
pHs of soil, but prefers clay. It is considered to be a beneficial component of natural or organic lawn care due to its ability to fix nitrogen and out compete lawn weeds. Natural nitrogen fixing reduces leaching from the soil and can reduce the incidence of some lawn diseases that are enhanced by the availability of synthetic fertilizer. The Organic Lawn Care Manual", Tukey, Storey Publishing. p 183.]
Besides making an excellent forage crop for livestock, clovers are a valuable survival food: they are high in protein, widespread, and abundant. They are not easy to digest raw, but this can be easily fixed by boiling for 5-10 minutes Lee Allen Peterson, "Edible Wild Plants", (New York City: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), P. 56.] . Dried flowerheads and seedpods can also be ground up into a nutritious flour and mixed with other foods, or can be steeped in hot water for a healthy, tasty tea-like infusion.
Before the introduction of broad-leaf herbicides, white clover was more often added to
lawnseed mixes than it is today, as it is able to grow and provide green cover in poorer soils where turfgrasses do not perform well. Many people consider clover a weedwhen growing in lawns, in part because the flowers are attractive to bees and thus create a danger for people with bare feet.
White clover is the only known plant on which the
caterpillars of the Coleophoridaecase-bearer moth " Coleophora mayrella" feed.
In Britain, it is also used as an indicator of non-species rich grassland, as it out-competes the more rare plants and grasses, especially in fertile soils.
Agri-environment schemes such as the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, and Environmental Stewardshipgive funding to species rich grasslands that does not have an abundance of white clover.
* [http://www.quattrofolium.com/eng/repens.html quattrofolium]
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