Trifolium repens has a prostrate, stoloniferous growth habit with leaves that are composed of three leaflets, which sometimes have a crescent-shaped mark on the upper surface. Leaves and roots develop along the stolon at the nodes. The flower heads, each consisting of 40 to 100 florets which are white in colour, are borne on long stalks from the leaf axils (USDA-NRCS, 2010b).
Trifolium repens, in the United States, thrives best in a cool, moist climate in soils with ample lime, phosphate, and potash. In general, T. repens is best adapted to clay and silt soils in humid and irrigated areas but also grows successfully on sandy soils with a high water table or irrigated droughty soils when adequately fertilized. T. repens seldom roots deeper than 2 feet, which makes it adapted to shallow soils when adequate moisture is available (USDA-NRCS, 2010b). In New Zealand, T. repens is frost tolerant down to -8 degrees Celsius (Caradus, 1994). In Australia it is common between the alpine and montane areas of the Australian Alps. It can be found up just over 2000m altitude and was introduced to help reduce the impacts of soil erosion (Johnston & Pickering, 2001). On the Amsterdam Islands it has been found to be a host for exotic aphid species, which could potentially affect endemic species (Hulle et al, 2010).
Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
Publication date: 2010-06-08
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Trifolium repens. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1608 on 03-12-2021.