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White Clover
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White Clover
ative Herb trifoliate Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: White Clover, Ladino Clover, White Dutch Clover • Nepali: सेतो बेहुली Seto Behuli
Botanical name: Trifolium repens    Family: Fabaceae (pea family)

White Clover is a herbaceous perennial plant which is low growing, with heads of whitish flowers, often with a tinge of pink or cream. The heads are generally 1.5-2 cm wide, and are at the end of 7 cm peduncles or flower stalks. The leaves are trifoliolate, smooth, elliptic to egg-shaped and long-petioled. The stems function as stolons, so white clover often forms mats with the stems creeping as much as 18 cm a year, and rooting at the nodes. Besides making an excellent forage crop for livestock, clovers are a valuable survival food: they are high in protein, widespread, and abundant. They are not easy to digest raw, but this can be easily fixed by boiling for 5-10 minutes. Dried flowerheads and seedpods can also be ground up into a nutritious flour and mixed with other foods. Dried flowerheads also can be steeped in hot water for a healthy, tasty tea-like infusion. White Clover is native to Macaronesia, NW. Africa, Egypt to Zimbabwe, Europe to Mongolia and Himalaya, at altitudes of 1500-2500 m. Flowering: April-July.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

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