Trifolium repens (Dutch white clover, honeysuckle clover, white trefoil, purplewort)

description: herbaceous perennial

place of origin: Eurasia

urban habitat: commonly found in minimally maintained lawns in residential, commercial, and public landscapes, along roadway margins, in vacant lots, rubble dumps, and in urban meadows, it grows well in full sun in a variety of soil types.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted ground covering colonizer; capable of improving soil quality by fixing nitrogen; source of nectar for pollinating insects and food for wildlife.

Trifolium repens has been used in North America as forage for grazing animals since the 1700s, indicating its early introduction from Europe. It is found throughout the US, in most parts of Canada and in Greenland. The Cherokee and Iriquois used an infusion of the plant for treating fever, colds, coughs, asthma, liverspots, ophthalmological problems, vaginal infections, and kidney ailments. The plant has also been used to treat rheumatism, gout, used as a purifier and a tonic. The plant is edible raw or cooked and has been consumed in salads, soups, as like a vegetable. Its seeds and dried flowers can be ground into a flour to make bread and its dried leaves are said to add a vanilla-like taste to cakes. Its dried flowers have also been brewed to make a tea-like beverage.

Urban Herbs: White Clover