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

Trifolium wormskioldii Lehm.
springbank clover (cows clover)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gary Lewis  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5308)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Trifolium wormskioldii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender taproot; stems decumbent, 10-80 cm long, branched, often rhizomatous, glabrous.
Basal and alternate along the stem, palmately compound; leaflets 3, oblanceolate to oblong-egg-shaped, pointed to rounded at the tip, 1-3 cm long, the margins finely toothed; stipules lanceolate, 1-4 cm long, ragged-margined and with long-pointed tips.
Inflorescence a dense, globe-shaped, stalked, axillary head of 2 to 60, erect or spreading, pea-like flowers, the heads 2-3 cm thick, set in wheel-like, 1- to 2-cm wide, jaggedly many-lobed involucres; corollas reddish to purple, sometimes white-tipped, 10-18 mm long; calyces glabrous, 7-11 mm long, the 10-veined tube equal to the 5 awl-shaped, bristle-tipped teeth.
Pods; seeds 1 to 4.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows, tidal marshes, streambanks, beaches and dunes in the lowland and steppe zones; common along the BC coast, rare in SC BC; S to ID, CO, UT, NM, CA and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trifolium wormskioldii

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) 0 1 5
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 1
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 5 7
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(2), CWH(22)


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

Lupinaster wormskioldii (Lehm.) C. Presl
Trifolium arizonicum Greene
Trifolium fendleri Greene
Trifolium fimbriatum Lindl.
Trifolium heterodon Torr. & A. Gray
Trifolium involucratum var. arizonicum (Greene) McDermott
Trifolium involucratum var. fendleri (Greene) McDermott
Trifolium involucratum var. fimbriatum (Lindl.) McDermott
Trifolium involucratum var. heterodon (Torr. & Gray) S. Wats.
Trifolium involucratum var. kennedianum McDermott
Trifolium kennedianum (McDermott) A. Nels. & J.F. Macbr.
Trifolium lacerum Greene
Trifolium mucronatum var. arizonicum (Greene) Isely
Trifolium oxydon Greene ex Rydb.
Trifolium spinulosum Dougl. ex Hook.
Trifolium willdenovii var. fimbriatum (Lindl.) Ewan
Trifolium willdenovii var. kennedianum (McDermott) Ewan
Trifolium willdenowii var. fimbriatum (Lindl.) Ewan
Trifolium willdenowii var. kennedianum (McDermott) Ewan
Trifolium wormskioldii var. arizonicum (Greene) Barneby
Trifolium wormskioldii var. fimbriatum (Lindl.) Jepson
Trifolium wormskioldii var. kennedianum (McDermott) Jepson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References