Cow clover, coast clover
From Washington to California, and east to Texas
Varied, mountainsides, ridges, meadows, beaches, from sea level to 10,000 feet
Trifoliate; leaflets elliptic to ovate, up to 1.2 inches long, with serrate edges
Trifolium wormskioldii has a wide geographical range and is found in many different habitats, from beach margins along the coast to 10,000 foot mountain slopes. Coastal plants spread along the ground, forming dense clumps, while those at medium elevations are more upright, up to one foot high. Mountain specimens are much smaller.
Stems and leaves are hairless. Leaves are divided into three leaflets, varying in shape from broad and ovate to narrow and elliptic. Leaflets have small teeth along the edge, and the edges are often reddish. Leaflets often fold upwards slightly along the midvein, and they have prominent, lighter-colored side veins.
The spherical inflorescence may be held within the leaves or some way above; clusters are supported by a flattish, wheel-shaped involucre divided into many thin lobes. Flowers are richly colored, deep pink to purple, with lighter tips, pale pink to white.