Trifolium Repens – White Clover, Dutch Clover, Ladino Clover, Ladino

Trifolium Repens – White Clover, Dutch Clover, Ladino Clover,  Ladino

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.

Three types: Cultivars of white clover are grouped into three types by size. The lowest growing type (Wild White) best survives heavy traffic and grazing. Intermediate sizes (Dutch White, New Zealand White and Louisiana S-1) flower earlier and more profusely than the larger types, are more heat-tolerant and include most of the economically important varieties. The large (Ladino) types produce the most N per acre of any white types, and are valued for forage quality, especially on poorly drained soil. They are generally less durable, but may be two to four times taller than intermediate types.

Intermediate types of white clover include many cultivated varieties, most originally bred for forage. The best of 36 varieties tested in north-central Mississippi for cover crop use were ARAN, GRASSLAND KOPU and KITAOOHA. These ranked high for all traits tested, including plant vigor, leaf area, dry matter yield, number of seed-heads, lateness of flowering and upright stems to prevent soil contact. Ranking high were ANGEL GALLARDO, CALIFORNIA LADINO and widely used LOUISIANA S-1


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.

* stolons (from Latin stolō “branch”. Stolons also known as runners, are horizontal connections between organisms

Depending on the type, plants grow just 6 to 12 inches tall, but thrive when mowed or grazed. Once established, they stand up well to heavy field traffic and thrive under cool, moist conditions and shade.

Green manure, and cover crops:

White clover can tolerate close mowing and grazing, and it can grow on many different types and pHs of soil (although it prefers clay soils). As a leguminous and hardy plant, it is considered to be a beneficial component of natural or organic pasture management and lawn care due to its ability to fix nitrogen and out-compete weeds. Natural nitrogen fixing reduces leaching from the soil and by maintaining soil health can reduce the incidence of some lawn diseases that are enhanced by the availability of synthetic fertilizer.  For these reasons, it is often used as a green manure and cover crop.

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Trifolium
Species: T. repens
 tres, “three”, and folium, “leaf”,

repens, is Latin for “creeping

Date Planted

2017 self planted

Purchase Info




Diseases and Problems:

White clover is the only known plant on which the caterpillars of the Coleophoridae case-bearer moth Coleophora mayrella feed.



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. White clover is commonly grown in mixtures with forage grasses, e.g. perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne),  Such mixtures can not only optimize livestock production, but can also reduce the bloat risk to livestock that can be associated with excessive white clover in pastures. Such species mixtures also tend to avoid issues that could otherwise be associated with cyanogenic glycoside (linamarin and lotaustralin) intake on pure or nearly pure stands of some white clover varieties.  However, problems do not inevitably arise with grazing on monocultures of white clover, and superior ruminant production is sometimes achieved on white clover monocultures managed to optimize sward height.  Formononetin and biochanin A play a role in arbuscular mycorrhiza formation on white clover roots, and foliar disease can stimulate production of estrogenic coumestans in white clover.  However while there have been a few reports of phytoestrogenic effects of white clover on grazing ruminants,  these have been far less common than such reports regarding some varieties of subterranean and red clover. Among forage plants, some white clover varieties tend to be favored by rather close grazing, because of their stoloniferous habit,   which can contribute to competitive advantage.


Besides making an excellent forage crop for livestock, clovers are a valuable survival food: they are high in proteins, widespread, and abundant. The fresh plants have been used for centuries as additives to salads and other meals consisting of leafy vegetables.  They are not easy for humans to digest raw, however, but this is easily fixed by boiling the harvested plants for 5–10 minutes. 

Insect Repellent: 


A folk medicine in India against intesinal helminthic worms and an experimental in vivo study validated that the aerial shoots of T. repens bear significant anticestodal properties.

An anticestodal agent is a drug used to combat tapeworm infection


White clover performs best when it has plenty of lime, potash, calcium and phosphorus, but it tolerates poor conditions better than most clovers. Its perennial nature depends on new plants continually being formed by its creeping stolons and, if it reaches maturity, by reseeding

White clover tolerates wet conditions. Tolerates shade and can be used as a companion crop with alfalfa or perennial ryegrass.
Frost seed into winter cover crop in the spring.
Wait two years before planting a vegetable legume because white clover is a host for root rot diseases such as Pythium and Rhizoctonia.

Hardiness: hardy

White clover grows well as a companion plant among turf grasses, grain crops, pasture grasses, and vegetable rows.