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Weed: Large Hop Clover

Large hop clover is extremely prevalent in Middle Tennessee. It is a winter annual that also goes by the names field clover and pinnate hop clover. This type of clover grows low to the ground and can quickly cover an area with it’s mat-like growth pattern.

What does large hop clover look like?

This weed can be easily identified during bloom. Its bright yellow flowers are unmistakable. Prior to blooming, it can be identified by its hairy stems that are greenish or reddish in color. The leaves are hairless and grow alternately on the stem. You’ll find this weed in lawns, gardens, and any disturbed places: waste areas, along roadsides, and in abandoned fields.

How do you control large hop clover?

Proper lawn maintenance year-round is the best for preventing large hop clover. A dense turf will starve out large hop clover and prevent it from taking over your lawn. But even so, a few may pop up. In this case, a selective post-emergent herbicide will kill large hop clover. It can be pulled, but we recommend pulling it before it flowers as you run the risk of spreading seeds to other parts of your lawn.


Type: Broadleaf
Appearance: Large hop clover can be identified by its hairy-branched stems that can be green or a little reddish in color. Leaves are hairless and alternate along the stem. The blooms are bright yellow flowers that grow in loose clusters on long stalks.
Life cycle: Winter annual
Where it grows: Frequently found in lawns, gardens, along roadsides, waste areas, and other disturbed areas.
Reproduces by: Seed
How to prevent: Good lawn practices will create dense turf which should be enough to prevent large hop from taking over, but a pre-emergent will help as well.
How to remove: Pulling this weed will be effective, however, you’ll want to pull carefully as not to spread the seeds to other parts of the lawn. We recommend using a selective post-emergent treatment on this weed once you see it come up.