How Are Clover Seeds Spread?

By Monica Wachman
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic

Clover is a ground cover plant with about 300 known species. Most have the familiar three-leaf shape and ball-like cluster type flowers in white, red, pink, purple or yellow. White clover is the most common in North America and an important feed crop.

Pollination

Honey bees are essential in the pollination of clover. Farmers build bee hives in clover fields to not only aid the plants but to cultivate clover honey.

Seeds

Clover seeds are produced in large numbers. They have hard shells and can remain dormant for years until conditions are favorable for germination.

Scarification

The seeds' hard shells are broken down by going through an animal's intestinal system, usually cows or sheep. This is called scarification. The animals also help spread the seeds in this fashion.

Manual Spreading

Farmers who grow clover spread the seeds on the surface using a cultipacker, which gives the seeds a light covering of soil. Seeding is normally done in February or March and may include a mixture of other grass seeds.

White Clover

Though white clover does produce seeds, it also spreads by taking root along its creeping stems at structures called nodes. This helps the clover spread out over a large area. Clover still needs the aid or animals or humans to propagate in new territory.

About the Author

Monica Wachman is a former editor and writer for FishersTravelSOS, EasyRez.com and Bonsai Ireland. She has an AA degree in travel from Career Com Technical and is an avid RV buff and gardener. In 2014, she published "Mouschie and the Big White Box" about an RV trip across North America.