Bird's Foot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus

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Lotus corniculatus is a perennial species commonly known as bird's foot trefoil, amongst many other common names. It is part of the legume family, Fabaceae (Fabaceae) and has a lax, bushy habit. It typically grows to around 20cm tall, producing interesting foliage in arrangements of 5 leaves. The seed pods are said to resemble bird feet and the trefoil part of the common name originates from the leaf arrangement. The leaves are divided into leaflets and these are arranged oppositely in a terminal trio, with a small pair below. Flowers are bright yellow, similar to the colour of egg yolk and these open from red-orange buds. Flowering occurs from late spring through to early autumn, leading onto long, thin seed pods.

Planning

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Propagation

Special features

Attracts butterflies

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Good nectar source for pollinating insects such as bees, can also provide food for moth larva.

Special features

Origin

Europe, Eurasia

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Personality

Family

Fabaceae

Flower colour

Yellow, Red, Orange