E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Trifolium microdon Hook. & Arn.
thimble clover
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Liz Watkinson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #22274)

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Distribution of Trifolium microdon
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Species Information

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Annual herb from fibrous roots; stems erect to decumbent, fine-hairy, 10-50 cm tall/long.
Alternate, palmately compound; leaflets 3, heart- to lance-shaped, the tips squared-off or notched, the margins fine-toothed, 5-15 mm long; stipules narrowly egg-shaped, toothed or entire, 1/2 as long as the leaflets.
Inflorescence a dense, long-stalked, globe-shaped head, 5-8 mm wide, of 5 to many pea-like flowers, the heads set in hairy, cup-shaped, lobe-margined involucres, the lobes papery-edged and jagged-toothed; corollas white to pink, brown with age, 4-6 mm long; calyces 2-4 mm long, glabrous, the triangular teeth abruptly pointed but not bristle-tipped, papery and ragged-toothed along the margins, all shorter than the tube and noticeably shorter than the corolla.
Pods, often rupturing the calyces; seeds 1.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, grassy slopes and sandy or rocky clearings in the lowland zone; locally frequent on SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland; S to CA; S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trifolium microdon

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 92 124 137
Slope Gradient (%) 18 43 84
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 137 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(6)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Trifolium microdon var. pilosum Eastw.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References