Native to from Northern California to Alaska, this low growing plant was formerly abundant along coastal bluffs, valley meadows, and inland oak savannas. Not to be confused with non-native red clover, this plant has showier, deeper magenta flowers and more slender leaves.
In our observations this plant is a total bee magnet, attracting tremendous numbers of bumble bees, uncommon native Anthophora bees, honey bees, and countless others. It’s also a known host plant for the western cloudywing butterfly (Thorybes diversus) and the seeds are reportedly a favored food source for California quail.
Beyond wildlife springbank clover is notable as a major historical food source for native people who steamed the fleshy rhizomes (they have a taste and texture similar to bean sprouts!). Indeed we think this species is adapted to human management with individual plants tending to lose vigor unless they are periodically divided and re-planted. Through active management by rhizome division and replanting, large gardens were apparently maintained by native people.
Like camas, this species is a truly local, ecologically-based food plant!
Approximately 100 to 200 seeds per packet (0.3grams).