bird’s-foot trefoil

(Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

bird’s-foot trefoil

NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Weed Status

Invasive

Nativity

Native to northern and eastern Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.

 
Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Moist. Meadows, wet low places, roadsides, lawns, and disturbed sites. Full sun.

 
Flowering

June to August

     
Flower Color

Bright yellow, becoming orange marked with brick red

     
Height

6 to 24

     

Identification

This plant is a perennial rising from a taproot.

The stems either curve upwards from the base or lay flat, growing along the surface of the ground with their tips turned upwards. They are branched, hairless or sparsely hairy and up to 1½ long. They occasionally root at the nodes.

The leaves are alternate, clover-like, and mostly stalkless. They are divided into 5 equally sized and shaped, ¼ to ¾ long leaflets. The leaflets are untoothed, stalkless, and somewhat hairy. The two lower leaflets are separated from the upper 3 crowded leaflets, appearing at the point where the leaf stalk joins the stem.

The inflorescence is a rounded, head-like cluster of flowers arising from more or less a single point. The flowers are stalked, with all of the stalks about the same length, forming a convex cluster (umbel). The clusters have 4 to 8 flowers each and rise from the upper leaf axils.

The individual flowers are to ½ long and bright yellow, tinged increasingly with red as they age, eventually becoming orange marked with brick red. It has 5 petals organized into the banner, wings, and keel that are typical of plants in the Pea family. The sepals are green and are united into a bell-shaped or cone-shaped tube. Their tips are elongated into teeth equal to half the length of the sepal.

The fruit is a smooth, flattened, slender seed pod, ¾ to 1½ long, held horizontally from the flower stalk.

 
Similar
Species

The 5-parted leaf and the head-like umbel of bright flowers distinguish this plant from all other members of the Pea family.

American bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus unifoliolatus var. unifoliolatus), has solitary white flowers.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Loteae

 
Synonyms

Lotus corniculata var. corniculata

 
Common
Names

birdfoot deervetch

bird’s-foot trefoil

Bloomfell cat’s clover

crowtoes

ground honeysuckle


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

umbel

A flat-topped or convex umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point, with all of the stalks about the same length.

       

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Colony

  bird’s-foot trefoil    
       

Inflorescence

  bird’s-foot trefoil    
       

Flowers

  bird’s-foot trefoil   bird’s-foot trefoil
       
  bird’s-foot trefoil    
       

Infructescence

  bird’s-foot trefoil   bird’s-foot trefoil
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Birdsfoot Trefoil
Wez Smith
 
  Birdsfoot Trefoil  
 
About

Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).

 
     
  Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)  
     
  Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Bill Keim
 
  Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus) - 2012-06-25
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 27, 2012

Lotus corniculatus is a common flowering plant native to grassland temperate Eurasia and North Africa. The common name is Bird's-foot Trefoil (or similar, such as "birdsfoot trefoil"), though the common name is often also applied to other members of the genus. It is also known in cultivation in North America as Birdfoot Deervetch.

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De Gewone rolklaver (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus) is een algemeen voorkomende, vaste plant uit de vlinderbloemenfamilie (Leguminosae).

 
     

 

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