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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Strawberry clover  (Trifolium fragiferum)

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Life stages of Strawberry clover infestationflowers and leavesfruiting clusterseeds

Strawberry clover is a low creeping perennial that roots at stem joints (nodes), forming large clumps. In California it is found in the North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, Modoc Plateau, South Coast Ranges, and southwestern regions up to 4900 feet (about 1500 m). Strawberry clover inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed, moist locations. It is cultivated as pasture forage.


Crop fields, roadsides, saline sites, turf and home landscapes, as well as other disturbed, usually moist places.


Cotyledons (seed leaves) are small, oval to oblong, hairless and stalked.  Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem. The first leaf is simple, oval, usually has a rounded tip, and can be nearly hairless to hairy. Later leaves divide into three leaflets, which are longer and narrower than those of white clover, T. repens, and lack a white band on the leaflet.

Mature plant

Plants are low growing and either form small patches, or have creeping stems up to 1 foot (about 0.3 m) that root at the nodes. Stems are hairy and leaves alternate along the stem. Leaves consist of three leaflets that are egg to football shaped, hairless or have few hairs, and usually have rounded tips.


Bloom takes place from May through November. Flowers cluster to form fuzzy looking round- to egg-shaped flower heads that are less showy than those of white clover.


Fruiting heads are round, sparsely hairy, tan to reddish brown and look similar to hairy, unripe raspberries because of the clustered individual tiny fruits that form the head.


Seeds are broadly oval to heart shaped, have a notch at one end, are slightly compressed, yellow to reddish, and tiny.


Reproduces by seed.

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