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Trifolium carolinianum is often confused with:
Trifolium repens Trifolium repens
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Trifolium reflexum Trifolium reflexum
Viola striata Viola striata
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis

Wild White Clover Trifolium carolinianum

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Trifolium saxicola
Phonetic Spelling
try-FOH-lee-um kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-um
Description

Trifolium carolinianum, or Carolina Clover is a native wildflower that is typically found growing in lawns, along roadsides, in cemeteries and in thin, sandy pine or scrub oak woods.  

Tiny white/purplish flowers are held above the foliage.  They are said to be papilionaceous, resembling a butterfly.  

It is often confused with White Clover.  

Although a native of coastal North Carolina, it has not been spotted for an extended period of time.  The closest location where it can be seen growing is in South Carolina, near the North Carolina border.  

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  This wildflower self-sows.  It can be controlled by deadheading.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#native perennial#herbaceous#NC native#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#self-seeding#larval host plant#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#audubon#gray hairstreak butterfly#northern cloudywing butterfly#eastern tailed-blue butterfly#clouded sulphur butterfly#orange sulphur butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#native perennial#herbaceous#NC native#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#self-seeding#larval host plant#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#audubon#gray hairstreak butterfly#northern cloudywing butterfly#eastern tailed-blue butterfly#clouded sulphur butterfly#orange sulphur butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trifolium
    Species:
    carolinianum
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) larvae which appear from May to October in the North and from March to November in the South. There are 3 flights in the North and 4 to 5 flights in the South. Adult Clouded Sulfur butterflies feed on flower nectar from many different plants. This plant also supports Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas) which has many broods from February-November, Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) larvae which broods a little earlier than May-July.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a legume that is enclosed by the calyx tube. It will appear soon after the flowers are no longer blooming.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White flowers with a purplish tint sit above the foliage.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The veined, green leaves are tiny, only 1/4" long and 1/5" wide. The outer half of the leaf is serrated.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems can range from 3-11 inches. They are very slender and wiry.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators