#0023942 Spotted clover>dead clover #754334 - Ask Extension


#0023942 Spotted clover>dead clover #754334

Asked June 06, 2021, 3:48 PM EDT

On Friday it was “what are the white dots on a patch of white clover in our side yard?l I collected some Saturday morning and examine so spot material under an old compound microscope. None of seemed to have much from hi could only see the outline) but strangely enough I spotted a couple pieces with the appearance of broken bits of serrated knife I.e like ovipositor? I tried to take more closeup photos . Then in the afternoon I went to get better photos and that clover was dying. Neighbors don’t have lawn care either.

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

The white residue does not appear to be insect-related, but we cannot clearly see the dots/flakes/pellets to determine what they are. When you mention the neighbors not having lawn care performed, are you implying no fertilizer or pesticide (including weed control) was used on this area with the clover either? The clover's symptoms seem to suggest this is a reaction to herbicide, though it's possible a clover-specific disease is at work as well. Is there clover elsewhere in the yard that is not showing symptoms?

Is the clover the only plant in the lawn that's affected, or is the grass also showing symptoms? Has the lawn been watered in the past few weeks?

More information would also be useful:

  • are they attached to the leaf, or do they roll off?
  • are they hard in texture, or fluffy and collapse when pressed?
  • are they only on the upper surface?
  • are there any overhanging trees in that area?
  • do you know how long they may have been there?


Mira Talabac Replied June 07, 2021, 10:30 AM EDT
We’ll the answer to the mysterious clover spots emerged this morning. My neighbor casually mentioned that he’d taken care of some of the clover fir me last week, he had a little bit of herbicide left over from treating his daughters clover ridden yard so he did the neighborly deed of applying it to a patch of ours. He didn’t realize that we don’t mind having clover in our yard . I’m sorry it took up your time and the time I spent trying to figure it out.

On Jun 7, 2021, at 10:30 AM, Ask Extension <askextension@eduworks.com> wrote:

Bob and Suzanne Browning Replied June 09, 2021, 10:42 AM EDT

That's quite alright - it's not a bother, and this is why we're here. Glad you found out what the culprit was, even though it was done without your consent. The clover will probably return or seed back in over time, so if you want it to stay, the good news is that it probably isn't gone for good.


Mira Talabac Replied June 09, 2021, 10:58 AM EDT

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