Penn State
ForagesPeopleTopicsResourcesSelection ToolContact Info

Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : White Clover

Species: White Clover

Additional white clover information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Characteristics & Adaptation of White Clover

White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is a short- lived, perennial which can reseed itself under favorable conditions. It grows rapidly and spreads via stolons. White clover has a shallow root system which make it intolerant of droughty soils. It grows best during cool, moist weather on well-drained, fertile soils with a pH between 6 and 7 (Table 1). Pure stands of white clover are not usually planted because of their low growth habit and associated low yield. However, they make high quality pastures in mixture with a grass and fix nitrogen for use by the grass.

Adapted White Clover Varieties

The various types and varieties of white clover are undistinguishable from each other except for their size. Ladino and Regal are varieties of white clover which have leaf stems (petioles) that grow taller than other white clover varieties. Because of this taller growth habit these varieties are often referred to as large type white clovers. Dutch or common white clovers have slightly shorter petioles than the large white clover types. White clovers with the shortest petioles are classified as small clovers. The names of these small clovers frequently contain the words "wild white". These small white clovers yield less than the large types but persist better under heavy continuous grazing.