White Clover

White Clover
White Clover. Trifolium repens.
Fabaceae, the pea, bean or legume family.

Plant: Low, creeping, to 6" (sometimes more) with three-part leaves and dense heads of small white or sometimes pink pea-like flowers. Stems mostly hairless.
Flowers: White, or sometimes pink, tubular pea-like flowers in dense heads about 3/4" across, on long stem. Pink flowers seem more common during dry conditions.
Leaves: Alternate, compound, with three leaflets each about 3/8", obovate to heart-shaped (obcordate), and minutely toothed. Leaflets have light winged or triangular marking near the center.
Fruit: Dry, seed-like fruit in heads.
Blooming: May-October,
Habitat: Lawns, fields.

Comments: This is the common white clover of lawns. Sometimes considered a weed, but its roots harbor nodules of nitrogen-fixing bacteria that enrich the soil. Occasionally has leaves with 4 (or even more) leaflets. The tendency seems associated with particular plants. As a child I knew of a patch that regularly produced 4,5, and even 6-leafed clovers.

Where to find it: Common in the lawns of the park.