This is the commest of the white Clovers and is found everywhere in great abundance. It is extensively used for lawns and has been cultivated in some parts of the country where it is highly prized as a pasture for cattle. Bee-keepers claim that the sweetly scented flowers produce the choicest quality of white honey. It is generally supposed that this species is identical with the Shamrock of Ireland, although it is thought to be native to the northern United States and Canada. The leaf is commonly compounded of three parts or leaflets, but here and there a solitary leaf is occasionally found bearing four or more parts. The four-parted one is universally known as the "four-leaf Clover" and is popularly accepted as a token of good luck. A diligent search will seldom fail to find one or more of them in a healthy patch of Clover foliage. The earliest primary school song I remember learning had much to do with directing my mind to appreciate the glories of Nature:
" Down among the meadow grass, Searching it all over, What a merry band are we, Hunting four-leaf Clover."
June finds this Clover at the height of its floral activity, and the bees fairly swarm, over the blossoms from daylight to dusk. The slender, light green stalk is spreading and creeping. As it extends, long, delicate leaf and flower stems spring upright therefrom at short intervals, forming dense mats of medium green flecked with white, that are very pleasing. The stalk often takes root at the sheathed nodes, or joints. It grows from four to twelve inches long. Three rounding oval or inverted heart-shaped leaflets with narrowing bases, which unite at the tip of the slender stem, form the compound leaf. Their margins are finely toothed and their surfaces are usually marked with a whitish or grayish green triangular or broad V-shaped band, the angle of which points toward their apex. The midrib is strong, and the feathery veinings show on the under side. Clover flowers are botanically known as pa-pil-i-on-a-ce-ous, that is, they are butterfly-shaped. The beautiful Sweet Pea of our gardens is a clever illustration of this curious and irregularly constructed blossom. Of course, they are necessarily greatly reduced in size and more or less modified otherwise in the Clovers, since so very many are crowded on the flowering head where they are known as florets. In the present species, these florets are white, cream white, or frequently pinkish. They are set erectly in small, five-parted, light green calyces on small stemlets. As they fade, they become brownish and husky, and turn flaringly downward, separating the head for a time in two parts, the quick from the dead, until finally all become reflexed, while the seeds ripen. The White Clover is very common everywhere in fields and along roadsides, but more so east of the one-hundredth meridian. It is quite possibly a native well north, as it is in Siberia. It blooms from May to December. In England it is known as Sheep's Gowan, Honey Stalks and sometimes Shamrock.