Weed White clover
Scientific Name Trifolium repens
Family Legume family (Fabaceae)
Life Cycle Cool season perennial
Reproduction Method Reproduces primarily by seed and occasionally creeping stems
Appearance White clover creeps to form patches in turf and emerges from a fibrous root system. It can root at nodes on creeping stems.
Leaves The compound leaves are composed of three unstalked oval leaflets, up to 4/5 inch long. They are dark green and often with faint, white, crescent-shaped markings.
Flowers White clover inflorescences occur in ball-shaped white to pink clusters of pea-shaped flowers that are held slightly above the foliage. The inflorescences are up to 1 1/4 inch in diameter, composed of 40 to 100 flowers, and appear May to September.
Occurrence This weed occurs in most lawns and especially in moist, low-fertility soils throughout growing season.
Non Chemical Control To control without chemicals, maintain turf density and health through proper culture. Do not fertilize heavily with phosphorus. Mechanically remove or hand pull.
Chemical Control
Application Period Apply postemergence herbicides in mid spring to early summer and/or mid to late autumn when weeds are growing actively.
Active Ingredient in Labeled Products

Preemergent

Postemergent

  • isoxaben
  • 2,4-D
  • 2,4-DP
  • chlorsulfuron*
  • clopyralid
  • dicamba
  • ethofumesate**
  • MCPA
  • MCPP
  • quinclorac
  • triclopyr
*not on tall fescue or ryegrass turf    **early postemergence activity
Notes White clover was formerly a common component of turf mixes due to its ability to fix nitrogen. It is still currently available in mixes or by itself and may be useful in low management turf areas. It has the ability to persist at short mowing heights and can attract bees to lawns.

(Click on Image to Enlarge and Sharpen Photograph)

White clover mature stand

White clover plant

White clover in turf

White clover in turf close

White clover leaflet up close

White clover seed and pod

Confused?? Look-a-Likes White clover is often confused with black medic and yellow woodsorrel. Click here for further clarification.