LOTUS corniculatus

Birdsfoot Trefoil,
Common Birdsfoot Trefoil,
Bacon and Eggs



Height: 2-8" (5-20 cm)
Flowering Time: Summer
Flower Colour: Yellow

Botanical Classification:


Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Rosidae (Rose Superorder)
Order: Fabales (Bean Order)
Family: Papilionaceae (Pea Family)
Genus: Lotus (Trefoil)
Species: corniculatus (horned)
Lotus corniculatus

Lotus corniculatus is a very variable plant, growing as a flat, dense cushion only a few inches across on dry, well-drained chalk downs, up to six inches or more high and over a foot across in amongst other plants. It has woody, spreading stems, with small trefoil leaves, and flat clusters of a few yellow pea-flowers streaked with red. The thin seed pods from these are said to look like a bird's foot, hence the name.

Lotus corniculatus is a food plant of caterpillars of the Six Spot Burnet Moth (Zygaena filipendulae).

There is a similar plant, Lotus pedunculatus, Lotus major or Lotus uliginosa (Marsh or Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil) which is generally larger, more straggly, with bigger leaflets and upright clusters of more, slightly larger flowers, streaked with red. It prefers damp soils.


Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


Outside (18 days)
Deno (2 days)

Seed Pod The seedpod is a small narrow pea pod.

Seed The seeds are very small brown peas. There are few seeds in a seed pod.

Seedling The seedling has three rounded leaflets.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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