Guide to Clover Identification & Control

White Clover
Black Medic
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Type of Weed: Broadleaf

Trifolium Repens (White Clover)


White Clover and Black Medic are two common clover species found across the United States, with White Clover presenting more common in North Texas and Black Medic around the Dallas Forth Worth area.

White Clover is a perennial broadleaf weed, often found in moist areas of lawns with cool season grasses, roadsides, or pastures. This low-growing weed reproduces by seed and its creeping stolons.

Black Medic is a summer annual broadleaf weed commonly found in undisturbed sunny areas with dry soil. It too is a low-growing weed whose seeds germinate in the spring.

Both are attracted to unfertilized areas of lawns, allowing them to fix the soil’s nitrogen levels, and may often be found growing together.

How to Identify

Clover can be one of the easier weeds to spot in your lawn. With White Clover having slender, smooth green stems topped with three green oval shaped leaves.

These leaves typically have a white, crescent shaped band in the middle of them. Early in summer, white clovers can produce a small white flower that grows about an inch taller than the trifoliate leaves.

Black medic grows prostrate along the ground and slightly turns upright. Its green stems are semi squarish in shape and sparsely hairy. It too has three green oval leaves, with the center leaf having an extended petiole.

These leaves have slightly serrated edges, and are toothed at the tip. Black medic produces small yellow flowers in the spring until the fall, in a tight cluster. These flowers produce a black tightly coiled seedpod once they’ve matured (hence its name).

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

For lawns or gardens with small patches of these clover, manually pulling or digging up can be effective, ensuring you pull up the stolon for white clover and the taproot for black medic.

For large plots of white clover in your lawn, try using a broadleaf herbicide in the fall for best effectiveness. If you wish to apply it during the growing season, do so early in the morning to prevent damage to your grass.

For large plots of black medic, mowing before its able to flower, especially before its seedpods appear, will help control the spread. You may also use a selective post-emergent broadleaf weed herbicide in the fall.

Prevention Tips

Both of these clovers are drawn to unfertilized soil that is low in nitrogen. The best defense against clover in your lawn is following a proper fertilization schedule combined with fall nitrogen applications.

Along with these, maintaining a healthy, thick lawn by mowing at the proper height, irrigation, and aeration will deter clover (and other weeds) from infiltrating your lawn.

Applying a selective pre-emergent herbicide in late fall after aeration but before the first frost, and again in the spring, once the ground has thawed, can help prevent clover from invading your lawn.

Contact our team of expert lawn care technicians with any further questions or concerns of clover.
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