Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Trifolium macrocephalum
big-head clover, large-head clover

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington, south through eastern Oregon, east to Idaho and Nevada.

Habitat: Shrub-steppe, sagebrush desert and ponderosa pine woodlands.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Pubescent perennial from a thick root and rhizomes, the stems erect, 1-3 dm. tall.


Leaves with 5-9 leaflets, these rather thick, oblanceolate to obcordate, 1.5-2.5 cm. long; stipules ovate-lanceolate, their margins lacerate.


Heads mostly solitary and terminal, 3-5 cm. broad and long, the peduncles exceeding the leaves; flowers 22-28 mm. long, pale pinkish to rose-pink, spreading to erect, the pedicels very short; calyx 2/3 as long as the corolla, the 5 teeth awl-shaped, plumose, many times as long as the tube.


Pod 1-seeded.

Accepted Name:
Trifolium macrocephalum (Pursh) Poir.
Publication: Encycl., Suppl. 5(1): 336. 1817.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lupinaster macrocephalus Pursh
Trifolium macrocephalum (Pursh) Poir. var. caeruleomontanum H. St. John
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Trifolium macrocephalum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Trifolium macrocephalum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Trifolium macrocephalum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Trifolium macrocephalum photos.

USDA Plants: Trifolium macrocephalum information.

49 photographs:
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