Clovers (genus Trifolium) comprise about 300 annual and perennial species in the pea family. They are legumes which have the ability to convert nitrogen from the air into the soil by way of root nodules. The converted nitrogen is a source of plant food reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Annual clovers may be plowed back into the soil as a nitrogen source (also referred to as “green manure”) for another crop.
Clovers have many uses that include livestock feed (hay, pasture and silage), cover crops, soil improvement, erosion control, honeybee pollination and in turfgrass mixtures. Clovers grow in a wide range of soils and climates and many species tolerate shade, mowing and foot traffic.
Fun Fact: The four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the three-leaf clover which is why it is deemed to bring good luck. The frequency of four-leaf clovers to three-leaf is 1 in 5,000.