Native to Eastern Mediterranean and Asia. Ranges throughout United States, except Great Plains and extreme South; found in lawns, fields, roadsides, and disturbed habitats
White clover is a perennial plant with alternate compound leaves found in threes. The dark green leaves often have a white “V” or crescent in their center.
The flowers are white, sometimes tinged with pink, and are actually dense groups of individual red clover by this close to the ground growth pattern and, of course, the white flowers when floweret’s arranged in a round head. The plant grows close to the ground and is notorious for its ability to creep, or spread, by the use of stolons. White clover is most easily distinguished from blooming. Red clover plants often have larger leaves than those of white clover.
White clover blossoms were used in folk medicine against gout, rheumatism, and leucorrhea. It was also believed that the texture of fingernails and toenails would improve after drinking clover blossom tea. White clover is thought to clean the system, decreasing irritation and muscular activity of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also used to decrease the activity of the central nervous system An old fashioned remedy to cleanse the system. Blood purifier, especially in boils, ulcers and other skin diseases. A strong tea of white clover blossoms is very healing to sores when applied externally. Similar to red clover in use. White Clover was used for medicinal purposes by the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Mohegan Indians among others. The flowering heads have substances that counteract scrofula (Tuberculosis involving the lymph nodes of the neck), tend to purify and cleanse the blood, cleanse boils, sores, wounds, etc., heal disorders and diseases of the eye, and are tonic. A tea has been used in the treatment of coughs, colds, fevers and leucorrhea. A tincture of the leaves can be applied as an ointment to gout. A tea of the flowers has been used as an eyewash. The Cherokee used a tea of white clover for fevers and "Bright's disease". The Delaware and Algonkian Indians used a tea infusion of dried leaves taken for coughs and colds. Native Americans used whole clover plants in salads, and made a white clover leaf tea for coughs and colds. Leaves of white clover are edible, raw or cooked. The young leaves are best harvested before the plant flowers, and can be used in salads, soups etc. They can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach. Flowers and seed pods have been dried, ground into a powder and used as a flour or sprinkled on cooked foods such as boiled rice. The young flowers can also be eaten raw in salads. The root can be eaten if cooked first. A sweet herb tea is made from the fresh or dried flowers. It is considered delicate. The dried leaves impart a vanilla flavor if mixed into cakes etc.
Other Uses: It is usually grazed by livestock until the grower is ready for a seed crop to be produced. The plant makes a good green manure, it is useful for over-wintering, especially in a mixture with Lolium perenne. Produces a good bulk. It is a host to 'clover rot' however, so should not be used too frequently. It can be undersown with cereals or with tomatoes in a greenhouse (sow the seed before planting the tomatoes). Fairly deep rooting but not very fast growing. A good fast ground-cover plant for a sunny position.