White clover

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Trifolium repens L.

Common name(s): white clover, Dutch clover, creeping clover

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial


-leaves have:

  • three leaflets
  • a water crest

-flower heads made of 40-100 florets

-spreads through stolons

-considered invasive in some areas

– may be confused with T. hybridum; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-cool moist climate

-soils with lime

-shallow soils with a high water table


-fixes nitrogen

-provides beneficial erosion control

-pollinated by bees and other insects

-nutritious forage species for livestock and wildlife

-typically a companion crop with forage grasses

-grazed by:

  • white-footed voles, bears, moose, mule and white-tailed deer and blue grouse

-seeds are eaten by:

  • northern bobwhite, bufflehead, American coot, sage grouse, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, horned lark, mallard, gray partridge, greater prairie chicken, willow ptarmigan, American pintail, California quail and American robin.

Natural History:

-native to Europe



St. John, Loren, and Dan Ogle. “WHITE CLOVER.” Plant Guide, USDA NRCS, 2008, plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_meof.pdf.