16 responses to “Trifolium repens”

  1. Wendy Cutler

    Tamara, you write one interesting fun-to-read article after another. Almost everything you said here was something I hadn’t known.

  2. Debra

    Only considered a weed because of a highly successful marketing campaign by broad leaf herbicide manufacturers. The pendulum is hopefully swinging back to the side of sanity with the education towards “freedom lawns” that are more than a monoculture.

  3. Souren

    Thank you for a wonderfully informative description of this stalwart plant.

  4. i hay

    Great photo! At this close range you see clover is indeed a legume.

  5. susan

    I find four-leafed clovers (and five, six, and even seven-leafed ones) quite often, because I LOOK for them. That’s how you find them! But that always shocks people, when, after a quick perusal of a clover patch, I pop up with a stem topped with a perfect four-leafed crown. I’m always amazed so many people have never found one. Well, they don’t look, I guess. They often grow in small patches, that is, you can find several growing close to one another.
    A favorite clover of mine is Big Head Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum, of course), which is found in my favorite habitat, shrub-steppe. That big head is so beautiful and so surprising to see the first time, it so looks like a mutant.

  6. marilyn brown

    This brings back wonderful memories of being 8 or so, lying on my belly on our urban lawn with my nose one inch from from grass and clover tips. There was a lively community down there amongst the stems — ants and sow bugs to see, and who can imagine what else below, hidden in the soil. All kids should be so lucky. Thanks, Tamara !

  7. michael aman

    @ Debra: amen! @ Marilyn: if you’ve never watched the French movie from many years ago, “Microcosmos”, you will love it!

  8. Walt

    I fondly remember seeing Trifolium macrocephalum in Swakane Canyon off the Columbia as I was heading upward to look for Lewisia tweedyi locations for my Master’s.

  9. marilyn brown

    To Michael — thanks for the “Microcosmos” suggestion. I’ve put it in my Netflix queue, and am looking forward to revisiting that fascination !

  10. Leslie Bell

    Scale seems to be such an important aspect in the appreciation of the plant life we’re witnessing. Couldn’t some sore of scale be included? (And I don’t mean a nude woman at the foot of a water-fall, a ruler or a dime). To know that the clover was seen at 500-times magnification would be to realize how a diminutive plant that one assumes to know is actually quite complicated in its details.

  11. Alison Place

    I agree, having clover in your lawn does nothing but good for it. Every year, when herbicides were still legal for cosmetic purposes around Ottawa (Ontario), we’d get the lawn companies ticking birds foot trefoil, speedwell, clover, dandelions, etc. off on their list as weeds they could get rid of for us.
    We’d paid for the trefoil and clover seeds, and told them they could keep their herbicides well away from that lawn! We’ve also never had any trouble from beetle grubs, which I view as being partially due to a mixed species lawn. It’s not a great-looking lawn (lots of heavy shade, and we don’t coddle it), but clover and the rest of the broad leaves do better than the grass during the height of summer, no question.

  12. Fran Stallings/Earthteller

    One reason some folks may dislike clover lawns might be the honeybees, who can ruin the joy of running barefoot through the clover! But we welcome both (clover and bees). I taught our kids to braid the longest clover blossom stems into sweet-scented crowns, necklaces and bracelets. (The bees seem to stay away once the clover is picked.)

  13. Tamara Bonnemaison

    I love how many wonderful, personal stories this post has generated. I’ll try to feature common plant species more frequently!

  14. Everette Lovell

    Hi there! Wonderful article and fascinating responses. As good as Reader’s Digest! Can be taken anytime of day as a tonic; refreshes the mind.

  15. Old Ari

    I have been seeing a lot of red clover/white clover crosses, and some back crosses. Some are quite large

  16. jessica

    Stunning photo and great stories about this lovely plant. I really enjoyed the closeup photo. A good reminder that a plant that is so common that is often overlooked can be soooooo gorgeous and intricate, if we just take the time to look closely and appreciate it.
    I love this site.

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