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Running Buffalo Clover

Photo by Paul Harmon
used by permission


Common Name: Running Buffalo Clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium stoloniferum

Federal Status:

State Status:







Dark Green = Current county records
Light Green = Historical records

Comments: Running buffalo clover may have ecological ties directly connected to its namesake. It is thought that site disturbance, seed germination and plant dispersal provided by migratory herds of bison enhanced the survival of this plant. Ranging from Kansas to West Virginia, this clover is found in forest openings with rich soil. Prior to 1985, it was thought to be extinct until populations were found in West Virginia. Since then, several other populations have been found east of Kansas. Seeds have been cultivated to ensure its genetic material will not be lost. Some states have reintroduced running buffalo clover on public lands. This perennial plant looks and grows similar to the white clover that frequents suburban lawns. It has similar flower heads and blooms in spring but the flowering stem has leaves attached. Running buffalo clover is known in Kansas only in Miami County where it was documented in the 1880s.