The plant is native to central coastal and Northern California and Oregon, below 700 metres (2,300 ft) in elevation. Areas it is found include on the northern Channel Islands of California, the California Coast Ranges, and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Trifolium barbigerum is an annual herb growing decumbent to erect in form and hairy to hairless in texture. The leaves are divided into oval leaflets up to 2.5 centimeters long, sometimes having notches at the tips. The stipules on the leaves are large and variable in shape.
The inflorescence is a head of flowers up to 2.5 centimeters wide. The flowers are held in a bowl-shaped involucre of bracts with toothed edges. Each flower has a calyx of sepals narrowing into one or more bristles which are coated with long hairs. Within each calyx is the flower corolla which may be pinkish purple, white, or bicolored purple and white.
The bloom period is April to July.
Trifolium barbigerum was formerly discussed classified with two varieties, that are not in current use:
- Trifolium barbigerum var. andrewsii — reclassified as Trifolium grayi.
- Trifolium. barbigerum var. barbigerum — reclassified as and synonym of Trifolium barbigerum.
- Calflora: Trifolium barbigerum
- "Trifolium barbigerum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- Calflora: Trifolium barbigerum var. andrewsii; not an active name; see Trifolium grayi . accessed 2.28.2016.
- Calflora: Trifolium. barbigerum var. barbigerum; not an active name; see Trifolium barbigerum . accessed 2.28.2016.
- Calflora Database: Trifolium barbigerum (Bearded clover)
- Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of Trifolium barbigerum
- UC CalPhotos gallery: Trifolium barbigerum
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