White clover is a member of the pea family, common and widespread as a weed of lawns and gardens, most prolific during winter. The compound leaves have three heart-shaped leaflets (thus the scientific name). They have a V-shaped light marking near the base of each leaflet. The stalks (petioles) are longish, upright and somewhat curved. The flowers are white to pale pink in dense clusters at the tops of the stalks, mostly in spring. A honey source for bees, resulting in bee stings in parks.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Close-up of flower

Physical removal is not recommended, as stolons may break and sprout and increase, rather than decrease, the infestation. White clover was formerly considered a desirable component of turf seed mixtures, but as more was learned about bee-sting allergy, white clover lost its appeal and is not now used much in turf seed mixtures (Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science). The name ‘repens’ means ‘creeping’ in Latin.