To the Celts, white clover was a sacred, magical plant and the Druids saw its three leaves as symbols of earth, sea and sky. The Anglo-Saxons called it “cloeferwort” indicating a plant of medicinal virtue. While its historical use in herbal medicine as a cure for everything from whooping cough to bronchitis and gout has slipped away in favour of infusions taken from its red relative, white clover is now known all over the world for its ability to improve pasture.
People have long appreciated the value of white clover in grazing, long before they understood its ability to fertilize the land. Writing for the Highland Society in 1807 during his exploration of ‘Native Plants Most Deserving of Culture in Scotland’, the Rev. William Singers avows that it is ‘the delight of sheep, cattle and horses’.