Trifolium glomeratum L. Cluster Clover
Sp.Pl. 2:770 (1753)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Wednesday 22 August 2007

Prostrate annual, herb, 0.03-0.2 m high. Fl. pink, Aug to Dec. Brownsandy or clay loam, laterite gravel, granite. Winter-wet flats, breakaways, disturbed shrublands, roadverges, gardens.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren, Western Mallee.

IMCRA Regions: WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Brookton, Busselton, Chapman Valley, Coorow, Corrigin, Dalwallinu, Dumbleyung, Esperance, Gosnells, Harvey, Jerramungup, Kondinin, Koorda, Lake Grace, Merredin, Murray, Narrogin, Nedlands, Northampton, Perenjori, Perth, Plantagenet, South Perth, Stirling, Subiaco, Swan, Toodyay, Wongan-Ballidu.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 11 April 2019

Alternative Names. Ball Clover, Bush Clover, Flat headed Clover, McNeill Clover, Native Trefoil, Round head Clover, Smooth head Trefoil.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Livestock (ingestion), ants, agricultural activities.

Notes. Has low germination rates in unsuitable environmental conditions. Capable of nitrogen fixation. Trifolium species with high rates of nitrogen fixation may influence the abundance and growth of other plants species. Relatively drought tolerant. Sets large amounts of seed, even under grazing, with a high proportion of dormant hard seed. Prefers neutral to acid soils in low lying areas and drainage lines. Considered to be waterlogging intolerant. High percentage of seed survives ingestion by sheep.

Additional information. History of use/introduction. Forage. Similar exotic species. Trifolium species.

Suggested method of management and control. Prevent seed set for 5 years. Hand pull isolated plants in winter before flowering. Spot spray with 1% glyphosate before flowering. Otherwise spot spray with 4 g Lontrel®750, 1 g Logran®, 0.1 g metsulfuron methyl (600 g/L) or 0.1 g Glean® in 10 L water + wetting agent when plants are actively growing. Repeat annually for several years. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination           U U            
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering               Y Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting                 U U U U  
Optimum Treatment           O Y Y O        

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Bennett, S.J. (2000) Genetic variation of five species of Trifolium L. from south-west Turkey. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 47 (1): 81-91.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Can, E., Celiktas, N., Hatipoglu, R. & Avci, S. (2009) Breaking seed dormancy of some annual Medicago and Trifolium species by different treatments. Turkish Journal of Field Crops, 14 (2): 72-78.
  • Gibberd, M.R., Colmer, T.D. & Cocks, P.S. (2002) Root porosity and oxygen movement in waterlogging-tolerant Trifolium tomentosum and intolerant Trifolium glomeratum. Plant, Cell & Environment, 22 (9): 1161 - 1168.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, C.B. & Moore, J.H. (2002) Herbiguide, the pesticide expert on a disk. Herbiguide, PO Box 44 Albany, Western Australia, 6330.
  • Squella, F. & Carter, E.D. (2008) The significance of cluster clover (Trifolium glomeratum l.) in a subterranean clover-perennial ryegrass pasture under two constrasting management systems. In McDonald, G.K. & Bellotti, W.D. (eds), Farming - From Paddock to Plate, Proceedings of 7th Agronomy Conference 1993, Adelaide, South Australia. The Regional Institute Ltd, Gosford, NSW.
  • Thomas, B.D. & Bowman, W.D. (1998) Influence of N2-fixing Trifolium on plant species composition in the alpine tundra. Oecologia, 115 (1/2): 26-31.
  • Tuttobene, R., Gresta, F., Sortino, O., Frasca Polara, F., Dipasquale, M. & Abbate, V. (2008) Characterization of native populations of Trifolium spp. Options Mediterraneennes, A (79): 395-398.

Project information and acknowledgements