Lotus corniculatus L.
  • Common bird’s-foot-trefoil

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2022): Lotus corniculatus L. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000212180. Accessed on: 20 Jan 2022'

General Information

Herbs, perennial, 15-80 cm, with a taproot, scattered sparsely white puberulent or glabrescent. Stem cylindric to angular, solid, decumbent or ascending. Leaflets 5, apical 3 obo­vate to oblanceolate-obovate (lateral 2 oblique), 5-20 × 4-10 mm, papery, basal 2 stipulelike, midrib obscure. Umbels rarely more than 7-flowered; peduncle 3-10 cm; sterile bract with 1-3 leaflets, ± equal to calyx, 5-7 mm. Flowers (9-)10-18 mm. Ca­lyx teeth almost equal in length, narrowly triangular, ± equaling, longer than, or shorter than tube. Corolla yellow or partly or wholly orange-red, often bluish black when dry. Ovary gla­brous; ovules 35-40; style 4-6 mm. Legume brown, linear-cy­lindric, 20-25 × 2-4 mm. Seeds light to dark brown, 1-colored or spotted with violet-black spots or dots, small, ovoid, 1-1.7 mm. Fl. (Jan-)Feb-Oct, fr. (Mar-)Apr-Oct.

  • Provided by: [F].Flora of China @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Hierba postrada o rastrera, perenne, las ramitas glabradas, sin espinas; estípulas glanduliformes. Hojas imparipinnadamente compuestas; pecíolo nulo; raquis (0.1–)0.2–1 cm, sin nectarios glandulares; folíolos 5, opuestos, 0.4–2.2 X 0.2–1.1 cm, obovados, redondeados en el ápice, glabros en ambas caras. Infls. axilares, capitadas o umbeladas, 4–12 cm. Fls. amarillas, zigomorfas, cortamente pediceladas; sépalos connatos en un cáliz 4–5.5 mm, campanulado, 5-dentado; pétalos 5, separados, el estandarte 6–9 mm, espatulado; estambres 10, los filamentos connatos (excepto con 1 separado); anteras sin glándulas. Frs. verdes (que se tornan pardo oscuro o grisáceo), 1.5–3 X 0.15–0.25 cm, angostamente lineares, aplanados, coriáceos, dehiscentes (las valvas enroscándose al abrirse); semillas numerosas (ca. 20), pardas o pardo amarillento y (a veces) moteadas, 1.3–1.7 mm, globosas a lenticulares, sin arilo.

  • Provided by: [C].Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    "Taprooted, usually ± glabrous perennial with prostrate to suberect stems to 6 dm; lvs subsessile, 5-foliolate, the lower pair of lfls evidently removed from the 3 crowded terminal lfls and resembling foliaceous stipules; lfls 5–15 mm, elliptic to oblanceolate, mostly 1.5–2.5 times as long as wide; fls mostly 4–8 together, in long-peduncled, head-like umbels from the upper axils; pedicels 1–3 mm; cal-tube 2.8–3.5 mm; cor mostly 10–16 mm, bright yellow, becoming orange and marked with brick-red; filaments unequal, the 5 longer dilated at the tip; fr 1.5–3.5 cm; 2n=24. Native of Europe, cult. as a forage-crop, and widely established in meadows and disturbed habitats in the U.S., common in our range. June–Aug."

  • Provided by: [E].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Extremely variable perennial herb., prostrate, ascending or decumbent; branches glabrous, subglabrous to densely pilose. Leaf rachis up to 6 mm long, leaflets 3-20 mm long, 2-10 mm broad, broadly cuneate-obovate to narrowly obovate or linear-lanceolate, obtuse and apiculate to acuminate. Inflorescence a 3-6-flowered axillary, pedunculate umbel; peduncle 3-12 cm long. Bracts sessile, leaf-like. Calyx c. 6 mm long, teeth unequal, glabrous or pubescent. Corolla yellow, vexillum (7)-10-16 mm long. Fruit 12-30 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, cylindrical, straight, glabrous.

  • Provided by: [G].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 6
    • ]. 


    5–30 cm hoch, aufsteigend bis aufrecht, ± kahl (var. corniculatus) bis lang und dicht abstehend behaart (var. hirsutus), Teilblätter bis 2 cm lang, 1–3mal so lang wie breit. Blütenstand 2–8blütig. Kelch 5–7 mm lang. Blüt

  • Provided by: [D].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 


    5–7. Fettwiesen, Wegränder, kollin-subalpin(-alpin). CH.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 

    Distribution Map

    • Native distribution
    Found in
    • Europe Northern Europe Ireland

    Nationally Preferred Names

    Common bird’s-foot-trefoilEnglishIE
    Crobh éinIrishIE

    Other Local Names

    Pabhsaer na cuaicheIrishIE
    Gewöhnlicher HornkleeGermanCH
    Ungeun coitchionIrishIE
    Croobeen cutEnglishIE
    Lotier corniculéFrenchCH
    Bárr an mhisléinIrishIE


     Information From

    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    MBG Floras Images
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
    Hammel, B. E.; Grayum, M. H.; Herrera, C.; Zamora, N. Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2003-2014
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • D All Rights Reserved
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • E Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora of China @ efloras.org
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • F Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • G Missouri Botanical Garden
    Irish Vernacular Names
    • H All Rights Reserved
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • I CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).