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

Trifolium variegatum Nutt.
white-tipped clover (whitetip clover)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Daniel Stewart  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74636)

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Distribution of Trifolium variegatum
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems 1 to several, decumbent to erect, glabrous, 10-60 cm long/tall.
Alternate, palmately compound; leaflets 3, heart- or egg-shaped to oblanceolate, 5-20 mm long, the margins finely bristle-toothed; stipules egg-shaped, the upper deeply cut.
Inflorescence a dense, head-like cluster of 3 to 5 pea-like flowers, the heads 1-2 cm wide, on stalks longer than the leaves, set in wheel-like, irregularly lobed and jaggedly toothed involucres; corollas purple with white tips and brown with age, 5-10 mm long; calyces slightly shorter than the corollas, the tube narrowly bell-shaped, 10- to 25-veined, the teeth longer than the tube, awl-shaped and bristle-tipped.
Pods, usually rupturing the calyx when mature; seeds 1 to 2.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Vernally moist to dry, often sandy, fields, grassy meadows, roadsides, ditches and clearings in the lowland zone; locally frequent in SW BC, rare in SC BC; S to MT, UT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trifolium variegatum

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) 213 213 213
Slope Gradient (%) 15 41 60
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 166 210
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 2
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:


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 appendiculatum Loja.
Trifolium dianthum
Trifolium geminiflorum Greene
Trifolium melananthum Hook. & Arn.
Trifolium polyodon Greene
Trifolium trilobatum Jeps.
Trifolium variegatum var. major Loja.
Trifolium variegatum var. melananthum (Hook. & Arn.) Greene
Trifolium variegatum var. rostratum (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.
Trifolium variegatum var. trilobatum (Jepson) McDermott

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References