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UK Nature  > Wild Flowers  > Yellow Wild Flowers  > Lotus corniculatus

  • Close up of flowers
  • Close up of 5-lobed leaves
  • Developing fruits giving 'bird's feet' impression

Scientific Name:   Lotus corniculatus
Common Name:   Bird's-foot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus, more commonly known as Bird's-foot Trefoil, is a member of the Pea family and grows to approximately 40cm tall in some cases, but often much lower to the ground. It has 5-lobed leaves; the 3 upper leaves having short stalks, but the lower pair are stalkless, and therefore looks trifoliate.

The deep-yellow flowers are found in stalked clusters with the corolla up to 1.5cm long and often reddish-tinged, especially in bud - giving rise to one of this plant's common names of Bacon and Eggs. The fruits are about 2cm in length, smooth and straight, dark brown in colour and give the impression of bird's feet. Calyx teeth are erect in bud.

Flowering season is May to October. Usual habitat is dry grassland, hay meadows, edges of footpaths, cliffs, open woods and even cultivated lawns. Common throughout the UK.
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