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Trifolium longipes

Trifolium longipes

Trifolium longipes

Trifolium longipes
Trifolium longipes (Long-stalked Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Navajo Lake Trail, June 30, 2008.

Trifolium longipes is easily mistaken for Trifolium pratense, Red Clover, or for Trifolium repens, White Clover. T. longipes vs. T. pratense: flowers of the former are most often white or a light pink, and they are not subtended by large, leaf-like bracts.  Leaves of T. longipes are long, narrow, slightly serrated, and evenly colored; leaves of T. pratense are oval, variegated green, and smooth-edged.

T. longipes vs. T. repens: the former does not have stolons (runners like those of strawberries) and does not root at the nodes; the latter does both.

Arrows in the photograph immediately above point to two distinctions:  1) The flower head stem (the peduncle) has short, pointed hairs and  2) the stipules (the sheath at the base of the leaves) are green and leaf-like.

Trifolium longipes is found in all western states, but I rarely find it in the Four Corners region although Weber states that it is "widely distributed, especially in southern counties" and Welsh states that "this is the common Clover in the mountains of Utah". Perhaps one reason I find it infrequently is that I assume I am looking at Trifolium pratense when the plant is actually Trifolium longipes.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and Thomas Nuttall named this species in 1838 from a specimen he collected in the "valleys of the central chain of the Rocky Mountain range..." (quotation from Intermountain Flora) in his mid-1830s trip across the continent.  "Longipes" is Latin for "long stalked".

Trifolium longipes
Trifolium longipes (Long-stalked Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Navajo Lake Trail, June 30, 2008.

Trifolium longipes
Trifolium longipes (Long-stalked Clover)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Navajo Lake Trail, June 30, 2008.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Trifolium longipes