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Black-Leaved Clover

Trifolium repens 'Pentaphyllum'

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Black-Leaved Clover (Trifolium repens 'Pentaphyllum') at Roger's Gardens

Black-Leaved Clover foliage

Black-Leaved Clover foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 inches

Flower Height:  4 inches

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Other Names:  Black Clover, Dragon's Blood Clover


A showy form of clover with attractive dark purple-black leaves that are edged in sea-green; the roots of this plant fix nitrogen in the soil; potentially invasive, rooting at the nodes; use where it can roam freely as groundcover, with shrubs or bulbs

Ornamental Features

Black-Leaved Clover features dainty clusters of lightly-scented white pea-like flowers at the ends of the stems from mid spring to mid fall. Its attractive small round compound leaves remain deep purple in color with distinctive bluish-green edges and tinges of black throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Black-Leaved Clover is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading
  • Invasive

Black-Leaved Clover is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Black-Leaved Clover will grow to be only 3 inches tall at maturity extending to 4 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features