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

Trifolium oliganthum Steud.
few-flowered clover (fewflower clover)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6601)

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Distribution of Trifolium oliganthum
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Species Information

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Annual herb from fibrous roots; stems 1 to many, ascending to erect, 5-35 cm tall, glabrous or sparsely glandular.
Alternate, palmately compound; leaflets 3, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 5-25 mm long, fine-toothed to nearly entire; stipules narrowly egg-shaped, the margins jagged-toothed, 1/4 as long as the leaflets.
Inflorescence a small head, 3-12 mm wide, of 3 to 10 (15) pea-like flowers, the heads on long slender stalks and set in flat, wheel-like involucres, the involucres deeply but irregularly spiny-toothed to greatly reduced; corollas lavender with white tips, 4-8 mm long; calyces 4-7 mm long, the tube narrowly bell-shaped, 10-veined and deeply slit between the upper teeth, the teeth narrowly lanceolate, tapered to a sometimes forked bristle-tip.
Pods; seeds usually 2.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trifolium oliganthum

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) 215 381 926
Slope Gradient (%) 20 53 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
24 176 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 4
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(3), ICH(1)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Trifolium pauciflorum Nutt.
Trifolium variegatum var. pauciflorum (Nutt.) McDermott

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References