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   Trifolium repens (herb)
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         Interim profile, incomplete information
    Taxonomic name: Trifolium repens L.
    Synonyms: Amoria repens (L.) C. Presl , Trifolium biasolettii Steud. & Hochst., Trifolium macrorrhizum Boiss. , Trifolium occidentale Coombe , Trifolium repens L. var. nigricans G. Don, Trifolium repens L. var. repens, Trifolium repens var. atropurpureum hort. , Trifolium repens var. biasolettii , Trifolium repens var. giganteum, Trifolium repens var. latum , Trifolium repens var. macrorrhizum, Trifolium repens var. pallescens, Trifolium repens var. rubescens hort.
    Common names: dutch clover (English), ladino clover (English), ladino white clover (English), trébol blanco (Spanish), trèfle blanc (French), trèfle rampant (French), trevo-branco (Portuguese), Weißklee (German), white clover (English), white dutch clover (English)
    Organism type: herb
    Trifolium repens is a perennial legume that originated in Europe/East Asia and has become one of the most widely distributed legumes in the world. It has naturalized in most of North America, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand.
    Description
    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).
    Occurs in:
    agricultural areas, coastland, range/grasslands, scrub/shrublands, urban areas, wetlands
    Habitat description
    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).
    Uses
    Trifolium repens is reported to be contain both poison and healing abilities. Its leaves contain the chemical genistein which is reported to have ethnobotanical properties.
    T. repens is also used as a forage crop.
    Geographical range
    Native range: Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia; Afghanistan; Cyprus; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordon; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey; Armenia; Azerbijan; Georgia; Russian Federation; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; Pakistan; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Finland; Iceland; Ireland; Norway; Sweden; United Kingdom; Austria; Belgium; Czech Republic; Germany; Hungary; Netherlands; Poland; Switzerland; Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Albania; Bulgaria; ex-Yugoslavia; Greece; Italy; Ukraine; Romania; France; Portugal; Spain. (USDA-ARS, 2010).
    Known introduced range: Central America, South America, Mexico, West Indies (USDA-ARS, 2010); Taiwan (Wu et al, 2003); Japan (Auld et al, 2003; Mito & Uesugi, 2004; Miyawaki & Washitani, 2004); Australia (Johnston & Pickering, 2001; Auld et al, 2003; MacDougall et al, 2005; Pickering & Hill, 2007) (Kosciuszko National Park (Johnston & Pickering, 2001; MacDougall et al, 2005; Bear et al 2006)); Falkland Islands (Broughton & McAdams, 2002); New Zealand (Caradus, 1994); South Georgia (Philcox, 1962; Greene & Walton, 1975); Amsterdam Islands (Hulle et al, 2010); Alaska (Pickering & Hill, 2007); Juan Fernandez Islands (Swenson et al, 1997); United States (USDA-ARS, 2010); Canada (USDA-ARS, 2010); Greenland (USDA-ARS, 2010).
    Management information
    Two varities of Trifolium repens; T. repens L. var. nigricans G. Don and T. repens L. var. repens, are known to be established alien species and/or found in the Japanese wild. Because of this, mitigation could be undertaken under the Invasive Alien Species Act, 2004 (Mito & Uesugi, 2004). However T. repens is so widespread within natural vegetation in the Australian Alps, that control is considered impracticable (MacDougall et al, 2005). Pickering & Hill (2007) further establish this by mentioning that although the feasibility of controlling vegetative regeneration is moderate, there is little chance of controlling the seed bank.
    Lifecycle stages
    Trifolium repens is a perennial legume (Caradus, 1994).
    Compiled by: 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
    Last Modified: Tuesday, 8 June 2010


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland