Native to Europe, but introduced as an ornamental and forage plant, and now found commonly throughout North America. It is a weed in turf grasses and landscape, as well as in many crop settings. It tolerates close mowing and becomes a problem by outcompeting the turf.
A perennial, mat-forming plant with creeping stems that root at the nodes. Reproduction is by seeds or by stolons, and the seeds are able to survive long periods prior to germination. Seeds begin to germinate in cool, moist conditions such as spring or early fall.
Foliage dies back in cold winter weather, with re-growth from the roots and stolons.
Mature plants may get over 6 inches high in ideal conditions where they are not mowed, but tend to grow prostrate along the ground. Stems and leaves are smooth or slightly hairy.
Leaves are divided into 3 (rarely 4) leaflets that are round or broadly oval, and are on a long petiole. Leaflets are dark green with a pale area near their base, and their margins are very slightly toothed.
Flowers occur in round, compact clusters on long stalks that arise from the leaf axils, and are produced throughout the summer. There are 20 to 40 flowers per cluster, and they are white to pinkish.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
A perennial weed that propagates from over-wintering stolons or from seeds. Tolerates close mowing and cultivation.