Common Name: Foothill Clover
Trifolium ciliolatum is an erect, annual plant growing 20 - 50cm tall[
The plant is harvesed from the wild for local use as a food.
Trifolium ciliolatum is widespread in its natural range, some populations are known to occur within the protected area network and no major threats to the species are known at present. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Eating this plant can cause bloat, especially if larger quantities are consumed[
Western N. America - Washington, Oregon, California.
Grasslands, chaparral, open grassy hillsides and in disturbed habitats; at elevations up to 1,700 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil in full sun[
]. Succeeds in poor soils.
It grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[
]. It should not be grown with camellias or gooseberries because it harbours a mite that can cause fruit drop in the gooseberries and premature budding in the camellias[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Usually harvested before the plant comes into flower[
]. The leaves can be dried for later use[
]. There is a very considerable difference of opinion in regard to the edible quality of this species - some native Americans claim that it is not tit to eat, and cases of poisoning have been cited, whilst others say that it is good to eat[
]. Eating larger quantities can cause bloat - traditionally, the leaves were eaten with other foods that aid in digestion and therefore prevent bloating[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. The seed can be sprouted and added to salads or it can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickener in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread etc.
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ.
If the seed is in short supply it might be better to sow it in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.