Trifolium repens L. - Clover Creepers
Systematic position.Family Fabaceae, genus Trifolium L.
Synonym.Amoria repens (L.) C. Presl.
Biological group.Pivot-root perennial plant.
Morphology and biology.Root multihead above. Maim stem shortened, 1-4 cm in length. Stems (axillary shoots) glabrous, stretched, 10-30 cm in length, branched, rooting at lower nodes, often hollow, rising above. Stipules large, chaffy, lanceolate, sharp, pale, with lilacish nerves. Leaves located on long rising petioles to 30 cm in length, obovate-ovoid, emarginated above, 1-2 (3) cm in length, fine-crenulated along margin. Inflorescence spherical, about 2 cm in width, friable, with 30-80 flowers. Bracts chaffy, lanceolate. Flowers 6-12 mm in length; calyx campaniform, about 3 mm in length, pale, with 10 green nerves. Corolla white, sometimes pale-yellow, pink or greenish, after blossoming growing brown. Flag 6-12 mm in length, elliptical, free. Bean linear, with 3-4 seeds. V-X.
Distribution.European part, the Caucasus, Western and Eastern Siberia, the Far East, Middle Asia. Outside the former USSR: Scandinavia, all Europe, western and eastern Mediterranean, Minor and Central Asia, alien in other parts of the mainland. Its natural distribution is possibly limited by eastern districts of Western Siberia, whereas the north boundary goes to approximately 60°N; eastward to Kamchatka it is alien together with agricultural plants.
Ecology.Inhabits waterless valleys and water-meadows, rarely steppe and solonetzic meadows, forest edgings and light, mainly birch forests, banks of reservoirs (as alien species, northward to arctic zone); occurs in steppe and semi-desert zones of plains in places of natural or artificial moistening, in mountains of south to sub-alpine meadows, often as a weed on outskirts of roads, near habitation, on waste lands; on soils of different mechanical composition.
Economic significance.It is cultivated in Non-Chernozem zone; a weed plant in crops of perennial grasses. Control measures: deep autumn plowing, spring plowing, cutting of root system in the beginning of growth and development period.
Related references.Nikitin, V.V. 1983. Weed plants of the USSR flora. Leningrad: Nauka. 454 p. (in Russian).
Shishkin, B.K.., ed. 1945. Flora USSR. V. 11. Moscow; Leningrad: AN SSSR. 432 p. (in Russian).
Ulyanova T.N. 1998. Weeds in the flora of Russia and other CIS states. St. Petersburg: VIR. 233 p. (in Russian).