Lotus corniculatus Fabaceae Bird's-foot trefoil

Flower Seed pods

Lotus corniculatus 24kb

Description - This is a member of the Pea family, and the small, bright yellow flowers are clustered 3-6 at the top of the stem. The buds are usually bright red, making this a very attractive small plant, in spreading mats amongst the grass up to 40 or 50cm in diameter. Flowers are followed by dark brown seed-pods. Leaves have three leaflets, and are not obviously hairy.

Habitat - Dry grassland, and hedgebanks with short turf. Usually coastal, but can occur inland.

Comments - A common plant, seen in flower from the end of May until early September. Called Bird's-foot because the developed seed pods can look like a bird's foot, although some think the curved, red buds are also reminiscent. Other English names include Tom Thumb (again the buds?) and Bacon and Eggs (due to the red and yellow appearance of the flowers).

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