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Woolly Head Clover, Hairy Head Clover, Cascade Clover, Cusick's Clover, Martin's Clover, Fuzzyleaf Clover - Trifolium eriocephalum


Family: Fabaceae - Pea family Genus Common Name: Clover Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Trifolium eriocephalum - Woolly Head Clover, Hairy Head Clover, Cascade Clover, Cusick's Clover, Martin's Clover, Fuzzyleaf Clover. Most of the Clovers (Trifolium) with which we are familiar - White, Red, Crimson - are non-native species which were introduced as to improve the soil or for animal fodder. In fact, as of this writing in May, 2014, all four Trifolium species represented on USWildflowers.com are introduced. While there are over 60 Clover species native to the United States, only about a half-dozen are found east of the Mississippi River. Trifolium eriocephalum, Woollyhead Clover, is one of the many western native Clovers. There are a number of varieties (or, since this is a western species, subspecies) of T. eriocephalum which go by common names such as v, Cusick's Clover, Martin's Clover, and Fuzzyleaf Clover.

Trifolium longipes is a similar plant with a similar but larger range, extending further east, and a similar habitat. I tentatively have concluded this is Trifolium eriocephalum rather than Trifolium longipes due to the reflexed flowers, described for Trifolium eriocephalum but absent from the description of Trifolium longipes in the Jepson manual.

Found in:
CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA

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Trifolium eriocephalum

Distribution of Trifolium eriocephalum in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 29 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-10Photographer: Cindy Williamson
Nikon D40
The inflorescence is of Trifolium eriocephalum is a head of 25 to 80 flowers which are reflexed within the inflorescence. They are white, pink, red, or yellow, or a combination thereof. The calyx has long feathery hairs.
Trifolium eriocephalum

Site: Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Cindy Williamson
Nikon D40
The flower head of Woollyhead Clover is on a peduncle that may be up to 6 inches above the leaves. The leaves are trifoliate, and the leaflets, which may be nearly 3 inches long, are hairy. The leaf has a pair of lance-shaped stipules at the base of the petiole. The stipules may be nearly two inches long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Trifolium eriocephalum

Site: Custer County, ID Date: 2010-June-13Photographer: Cindy Williamson
Nikon D40
Trifolium eriocephalum has erect stems rising up to as much as 2 feet tall. They grow in wet meadows and on streambanks in subalpine and montane altitudes. These were in a river meadow at around 6,200 feet elevation.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Trifolium eriocephalum

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer