NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Trifolium repens L.

Synonym
  • Lotodes repens Kuntze
  • Trifolium humifusum Latourr.
  • Trifolium limonium Phil.
  • Trifolium stipitatum Clos
Vernacular Name
Dutch Clover, White Clover, Ladino Clover, Ladino
Images
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Medicinal plant; Nectar source; Edible; Fodder crops
Remarks
Detail
It is native to Europe, including the British Isles, and central Asia and is one of the most widely cultivated types of clover. It has been widely introduced worldwide as a forage crop, and is now also common in most grassy areas (lawns and gardens) of North America and New Zealand. The species includes varieties often classed as small, intermediate and large, according to height, which reflects petiole length. The term “white clover” is applied to the species in general, “Dutch clover” is often applied to intermediate varieties (but sometimes to smaller varieties), and “ladino clover” is applied to large varieties. It is a herbaceous, perennial plant. It is low growing, with heads of whitish flowers, often with a tinge of pink or cream that may come on with the aging of the plant. The heads are generally 1.5–2 centimetres (0.6–0.8 in) wide, and are at the end of 7-cm (2.8-in) peduncles or inflorescence stalks. The flowers are mostly visited by bumblebees and often by honey bees. The leaves are trifoliolate, smooth, elliptic to egg-shaped and long-petioled and usually with light or dark markings. The stems function as stolons, so white clover often forms mats, with the stems creeping as much as 18 cm (7.1 in) a year, and rooting at the nodes. The leaves form the symbol known as shamrock. Almost always, a white clover will be trifoliolate. However, one can, but only rarely, possess four leaflets. It is native in Europe and Central Asia, ubiquitous throughout the British Isles, introduced in North America, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere, and globally cultivated as a forage crop. White clover has been described as the most important forage legume of the temperate zones. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (up to 545 kg N per hectare per year, although usually much less, e.g. about 110 to 170 kg N per hectare per year) in root nodules of white clover obviates synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use for maintaining productivity on much temperate zone pasture land.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
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Experts
  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail: kuzyarin@gmail.com

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Plantae
Viridiplantae
Tracheophyta
Euphyllophytina
Magnoliopsida
Fabales
Fabaceae