Jepson 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Wiggins 1964
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Small, leafy annual herb, stems prostrate to ascending, slender, wiry, glabrous or nearly so, 10-60 cm long. Leaves: Trifoliate leaves with finely toothed margins, leaves oblanceolate to ovate 5-15 mm long, serrulate, narrowly to broadly cuneate at base, glabrous or nearly so, stipules broadly ovate, toothed. Flowers: Globose heads to 10 mm wide, generally with less than 10 flowers, lavender to purple with white tips, surpassing the calyx, persistent, heads 6-12 mm in diameter. Inflorescences subtended by whorled, leafy bracts, involucres ovate or rounded with deeply notched teeth. calyx teeth dark purple, with lower flowers strongly reflexed. Fruits: Small, terete pods with few seeds, indehiscent. Ecology: Found in wet areas and along streams from 100-8,500 ft (30-2591 m), flowers March-May. Notes: The Jepson Manual reports this species as being highly variable morphologically, having around 30 different synonyms, and needing further research. The species name variegatum appears to refer to the flowers, not the leaves, although the leaf margins are sometimes tinged purple. Ethnobotany: The flowers and leaves were eaten as greens. Synonyms: Trifolium subsalinum, Trifolium ultramontanum Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011 Etymology: Trifolium means from the Latin meaning "three-leaved", while variegatum means variegated, i.e. different in some way.