Trifolium repens L.
Trifolium repens L. var. atropurpureum hort.
White clover is native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. It has been introduced to many other places as a pasture crop, including North America, where it is now abundant. White clovers are common in lawns. If you are battling them as weeds, you might want to reconsider, since they and other clovers trap nitrogen from the air, converting it to fertilizer. Clovers help lawns stay healthy.
Here is a comparison among red, white, alsike, and crimson clovers:
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|Plant||Plant stems are 4-16" (10-40 cm) long, but often lying on their sides, so these clovers are usually close to the ground||12-24" (30-60 cm) tall, typically somewhat smaller than red clover and larger than white clover. It has multiple hairless, fairly flexible stems||20" (50 cm) high.|
|Flowers||On flower stalks 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long. Flowerheads are ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) around, rounded, white, sometimes pinkish||½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, and may be pink on the bottom, grading to white on the top; or pink throughout. The shade of pink is lighter than with red clover||Deep red, forming rounded conical flowerheads about 1" (2.5 cm) tall and ⅝" (1.7 cm) around. Flowering occurs during April to May.|
|Leaves||Leaves are round or oval, in groups of three, each roughly at right angles to the others.|
|Habitats||Waste ground, pastures, open fields, roadsides, railroads||Moist meadows near woodlands, pastures, abandoned fields, and roadsides|
|Occurrence||Very common||Common, but less so than red and white clovers|
Identification: Plant stems are 4-16" (10-40 cm) long, but often lying on their sides, so these clovers are usually close to the ground. Leaves are in groups of 3 as with all clovers. Leaflets are oval, ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) long, with a slight indentation at the end. Each leaflet bears a pale green “V” close to the base, and slightly toothed leaf edges. Flowers are on stalks 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long. Flowerheads are ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) around, and rounded. Flowers are usually white, but may be quite pink.
Trifolium repens in Paghat's Garden
Trifolium repens on Missouriplants.com
Trifolium repens on Wikipedia
Trifolium repens on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Trifolium repens at Illinois Wildflowers
Trifolium repens on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Trifolium repens on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Trifolium repens on Montana Plant Life
Trifolium repens on CalPhotos
Trifolium repens on eFloras
Trifolium repens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.