A Clover By Any Other Name


Posted by Horticulture Guy - Peter Punzi | Posted in Gardening Q & A, Southeast U.S. Gardeners | Posted on 03-04-2011

Question: On my newly purchased property, I discovered clover with a dark, heart shape in the center of each leaf. I am having difficulty identifying what kind of clover it is. I am very interested to learn what type of clover it is. Thank you! Melinda – Tickflaw, LA

Mystery Clover

Answer: This does look like a clover – it reminds me of  a muted version of Black Four-Leaf Clover ‘Dark Dancer’ (Trifolium repens var. atropurpureum ‘Dark Dancer’).

Dark Dancer Clover

Dark Dancer Clover

But I don’t recall a cultiver with just a spot in the center.  My guess is either this is a cultiver from down south that I am not aware of, or it is a regression of that cultivar or variety that may have produced offspring that had less of a purple mark.  There is an outside chance that is is an Oxalis (which are sometimes confused with Trifolium) but the sure way to know would be to see it in bloom. Trifolium has a ball shaped flower cluster – oxalis has a single 5 petal flower.   If anyone reading this is familiar with this cultivar post a comment or send me an email.