Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Trifolium repens

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 767 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: White clover, Dutch clover.

Glabrous or glabrescent perennial; stems usually extensively creeping, 10-30 cm long, hollow, rooting at the nodes; leaves with long petioles; leaflets subsessile with subequal petiolules, broadly obovate, 10-20 mm long, rounded or retuse, denticulate, usually bright-green with either light or dark marks along the veins or both lateral veins translucent in the living plant; stipules large, membranous, sheathing, contracted into a subulate apex.

Flowers scented, 8-40 in globose umbellate heads subtended by scarious lanceolate bracts 1-2.5 mm long, on peduncles 1-30 cm, much longer than the subtending leaves; pedicels at least as long as the calyx, soon deflexed; calyx campanulate, 2-6 mm long, 10- or rarely 5- or 6-nerved, glabrous, teeth unequal, narrowly-lanceolate, the upper 2 longer than the rest, separated by narrow acute sinuses; corolla 6-12 mm, white or pink, rarely yellow, becoming light-brown after anthesis, standard ovate-lanceolate.

Pod linear, compressed, constricted between the 3 or 4 seeds, sometimes stipitate, up to 6 mm long, protruding from the corolla; seed cordate, c. 1 mm long, yellow to brown, smooth.

image of FSA2_Trifolium_rep.jpg
Image source: fig. 354A in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1954) Drawings Brit. Pl. 7:pl. 37.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: MU, SL, SE.   W.Aust.; Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   Originated in Europe, extensively cultivated throughout the world for fodder and many cultivars have been selected and grown for this purpose, commonly used in lawns or present as a contaminant; a common garden weed.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Sept. — May.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: There is a considerable variation in wild plants. A comprehensive treatment of this variation is provided in Flora Europaea 2:162 (1968). At present it has not been found possible to allocate S. Aust. material to subspecies.

Author: Not yet available

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