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Useful Temperate Plants

Trifolium macrocephalum

(Pursh) Poir.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Lupinaster macrocephalum Pursh

Trifolium megacephalum Nutt.

Common Name: Bighead Clover

No Image.

General Information

Trifolium macrocephalum is an erect perennial plant with stems that become more or less woody; it can grow 10 -30cm tall. The plant spreads by means of its rhizomatous rootstock, forming a loose mat of growth[
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A. & Keck D.D.
Publisher
University of California Press; Los Angeles
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

Eating this plant can cause bloat, especially if larger quantities are consumed[
1151
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Government Printing Office; Washington
Year
1900
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal. Rather dated, but it includes an ethnobotanical report from California and an early monograph of N. American Apiaceae. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Botanical References

71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A. & Keck D.D.
Publisher
University of California Press; Los Angeles
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Western N. America - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada

Habitat

Dry, often rocky soils, usually amongst sagebrush or under yellow pine; at elevations from 600 - 1,650 metres[
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A. & Keck D.D.
Publisher
University of California Press; Los Angeles
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.25 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Succeeds in poor soils.
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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - cooked and used as a greens[
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
]. Generally eaten before the plant comes into flower. Eating larger quantities can cause bloat - traditionally, the leaves were eaten with other foods that aid in digestion and therefore prevent bloating[
1151
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Government Printing Office; Washington
Year
1900
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal. Rather dated, but it includes an ethnobotanical report from California and an early monograph of N. American Apiaceae. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. 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[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

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 in late spring.
Division in spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-01-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Trifolium+macrocephalum>

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