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Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil

Lotus pedunculatus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Fabales
Family:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Also in this family:
Alpine Milk-vetch, Alsike Clover, Birdsfoot, Birdsfoot Clover, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bithynian Vetch, Bitter Vetchling, Black Broom, Black Medick, Bladder Senna, Broad Bean, Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea, Bur Medick, Burrowing Clover, Bush Vetch, Clustered Clover, Common Broom, Common Gorse, Common Laburnum, Common Restharrow, Common Vetch, Crown Vetch, Dragon's Teeth, Dwarf Gorse, Dyer's Greenweed, False Acacia, Fine-leaved Vetch, Fodder Vetch, Fyfield Pea, Garden Lupin, Garden Pea, Goat's Rue, Grass Vetchling, Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Greenweed, Hairy Tare, Hairy Vetchling, Hairy-fruited Broom, Haresfoot Clover, Hop Trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch, Hungarian Vetch, Kidney Vetch, Knotted Clover, Large Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil, Long-headed Clover, Lucerne, Marsh Pea, Meadow Vetchling, Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot Trefoil, Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea, Narrow-leaved Vetch, Nootka Lupin, Norfolk Everlasting Pea, Orange Birdsfoot, Petty Whin, Purple Milk-vetch, Purple Oxytropis, Red Clover, Reversed Clover, Ribbed Melilot, Rough Clover, Russell Lupin, Sainfoin, Scorpion Senna, Scottish Laburnum, Sea Clover, Sea Pea, Sickle Medick, Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil, Slender Tare, Slender Trefoil, Small Melilot, Small Restharrow, Smooth Tare, Spanish Broom, Spanish Gorse, Spiny Restharrow, Spotted Medick, Spring Vetch, Strawberry Clover, Suffocated Clover, Sulphur Clover, Tall Melilot, Toothed Medick, Tree Lupin, Tufted Vetch, Twin-headed Clover, Two-flowered Everlasting Pea, Upright Clover, Upright Vetch, Western Clover, Western Gorse, White Broom, White Clover, White Lupin, White Melilot, Wild Liquorice, Wood Vetch, Yellow Oxytropis, Yellow Vetch, Yellow Vetchling, Zigzag Clover
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Habitats:
Ditches, marshes, meadows, riversides, roadsides, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 5 petals
 
Similar to Common Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) but is shorter and its dull yellow flowers appear in clusters of 5 to 12. Common Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers appear in clusters of 2 to 7 and are sometimes tinted with orange or red (hence its common nickname of 'Eggs and Bacon'), unlike Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil which is always pure yellow. Its golden yellow flowers appear on top of erect stalks which measure up to 15cm long.
Fruit:
Named for the appearance of its seedpods, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil has pods which look like the 5 toes of a bird's foot. The Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil has many more toes (5 to 12) so looks a little less like a bird's foot.
Leaves:
Bluish-green pinnate leaves with 5 leaflets. Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil has hollow stems, unlike Common Bird's-foot Trefoil which also has lighter coloured foliage. The leaves can be hairy or not hairy. Perennial.
Other Names:
Big Trefoil, Large Birdsfoot Trefoil, Marsh Bird's-foot Trefoil.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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