Trifolium repens, the white soukie, is a species o clover native tae Europe, North Africae, an Wast Asie. It haes been widely introduced warldwide as a pastur crop, an is nou also common in maist grassy auries o North Americae an New Zealand. White clovers are pairt o the pea faimily Fabaceae.
Table o contents
The genus name, Trifolium, derives frae the Laitin tres, "three", an folium, "leaf", so cried frae the characteristic furm o the leaf, which haes three leaflets (trifoliate); hence the popular name trefoil.
The species name, repens, is Laitin for "creepin".
It is a yerbaceous, perennial plant. It is laich growin, wi heids o whitish flouers, eften wi a tinge o pink or cream that mey come on wi the agin o the plant. The heids are generally 1.5–2 cm wide, an are at the end o 7 cm peduncles or flouer stalks. The leaves, which bi themselves furm the seembol kent as shamrock, are trifoliolate, smuith, elliptic tae egg-shapit an long-petioled. The stems function as stolons, so white clover eften furms mats, wi the stems creepin as much as 18 cm a year, an ruitin at the nodes.
Cultivation an uises
White clover grows amang turfgrass, crops, an in a lairge nummer o ither laundscapes. It is an aa foond in a leemitit range o different field type environments. White clover can tolerate close mowin, and can grow on mony different types an pHs o soil, but prefers clay. It is considered tae be a beneficial component o naitural or organic lawn care due tae its ability tae fix nitrogen an oot-compete lawn weeds. Naitural nitrogen fixin reduces leachin frae the soil an can reduce the incidence o some lawn diseases that are enhanced bi the availability o synthetic fertilizer.
Besides makin an excellent forage crop for livestock, clovers are a valuable survival fuid: they are heich in proteins, widespread, an abundant. The fresh plants hae been uised for centuries as additives tae salads an ether meals consistin o leafy vegetables.
Thay are nae easy for humans tae digest raw, however, but this is easily fixed bi boilin the harvestit plants for 5–10 minutes. Dried flouerheids an seedpods can an aa be grund up intae a nutreetious flour an mixed wi ether fuids, or can be steeped intae a tisane. White clover flour is sometimes sprinkled ontae cuiked fuids such as boiled rice.
As an invasive weed
Afore the introduction o broad-leaf yerbicides, white clover wis mair eften addit tae lawn seed mixes than it is the day, as it is able tae grow an provide green cover in puirer soils where turfgrasses dae nae perform well. Mony fowk consider clover a weed when growin in lawns, in pairt acause the flouers are attractive tae bees and thus could create a danger for fowk wi bare fit.
In Breetain, a heich abundance o white clover is generally associatit wi species-puir, agriculturally improved grasslaund habitats, as it ootcompetes the mair rare plants an grasses especially in fertile soils, an haes eften been addit as pairt o reseedin. Agri-environment schemes, such as the Kintraside Stewardship Scheme, Environmentally Sensitive Auries Scheme, an Environmental Stewardship, give fundin tae species-rich grasslands that are relatively infertile an dae nae generally hae an abundance o white clover. However, white clover daes hae value as a pollen an nectar soorce particularly in intensively fairmed auries or amenity grasslands whaue thare are few ither flouers, an it can be foond naiturally at laich levels in species-rich grasslands.
- Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso, Weeds of The Northeast, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), Pp. 236-237.
- The Organic Lawn Care Manual, Tukey, Storey Publishing. p 183.
- Lee Allen Peterson, Edible Wild Plants, (New York City: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), P. 56.
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