Lotus corniculatus-Bird’s Foot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-7.

Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Birdsfoot Deervetch, Eggs and Bacon

Lotus corniculatus

(Lotus corniculatus subsp. corniculatus)

LO-tus  korn-ee-ku-LAY-tus

Synonyms of Lotus corniculatus subsp. corniculatus (52) (Updated on 5-16-21 ): Lotus alpicola (Beck) Miniaev, Ulle & Kritzk., Lotus ambiguus Besser ex Spreng., Lotus angustifolius Gueldenst., Lotus arvensis Pers., Lotus balticus Miniaev, Lotus bracteatus Wall., Lotus callunetorum (Üksip) Miniaev, Lotus caucasicus Kuprian., Lotus colocensis Menyh., Lotus corniculatus var. alandicus Chrtková, Lotus corniculatus subsp. ambiguus (Besser ex Spreng.) Tzvelev, Lotus corniculatus var. arvensis (Pers.) Ser., Lotus corniculatus subsp. callunetorum (Üksip) Tzvelev, Lotus corniculatus f. carnosus (Pers.) Ostenf., Lotus corniculatus var. crassifolius Pers., Lotus corniculatus var. fallax Chrtková, Lotus corniculatus var. futakii Starm., Lotus corniculatus subsp. komarovii (Miniaev) Tzvelev, Lotus corniculatus var. norvegicus Chrtková, Lotus corniculatus var. posoniensis Chrtková, Lotus corniculatus subsp. ruprechtii (Miniaev) Tzvelev, Lotus corniculatus var. sativus Hyl., Lotus corniculatus var. sennenii Afr.Fern., Lotus corniculatus var. sibthorpii (Rouy) Asch. & Graebn., Lotus corniculatus var. slovacus (Chrtková) Starm., Lotus depressus Willd., Lotus dvinensis Miniaev & Ulle, Lotus forsteri Sweet, Lotus gibbus Beeke, Lotus haeupleri G.H.Loos, Lotus humifusus Willd., Lotus juzepczukii Seregin, Lotus komarovii Miniaev, Lotus norvegicus (Chrtková) Miniaev, Lotus olgae Klokov, Lotus orphanidis Ujhelyi, Lotus pentaphyllos Gilib., Lotus pilosissimus Schur, Lotus riparius Pers., Lotus rostellatus Heldr., Lotus ruprechtii Miniaev, Lotus sativus (Hyl.) Büscher & G.H.Loos, Lotus stenodon (Boiss. & Heldr.) Heldr., Lotus suberectus G.H.Loos, Lotus symmetricus Jord., Lotus tauricus Steud., Lotus tauricus Juz., Lotus tchihatchewii Boiss., Lotus uliginosus Hoffm., Lotus valdepilosus Schur, Lotus zhegulensis Klokov, Mullaghera communis Bubani

Lotus corniculatus L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

On the last update on 3-11-21, Plants of the World Online listed six infraspecific names of Lotus corniculatus. On 5-16-21, it listed only one, the autonym, Lotus corniculatus subsp. corniculatus. The others graduated to species rank or became synonyms of Lotus corniculatus subsp. corniculatus… When varieties or subspecies are named (infraspecific taxon), an autonym (“type specimen”) is automatically generated that is the closest to the species. The editor of POWO informed me that “there are other subspecies that aren’t displayed on POWO” at the time I updated this page. We are all a work in progress.

Plants of the World Online lists 119 species in the Lotus genus (as of 5-16-21 when this page was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Fabaceae with 767 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO. 

Distribution map of Lotus corniculatus from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/. Retrieved on March 1, 2020.

The above distribution map of Lotus corniculatus is from Plants of the World Online. It shows where the species is naive in green, purple where it has been introduced, and gold where it is doubtful. The editor of POWO says they will start using USDA maps for species in families not included in Flora of North America later in 2021. The plant family Fabaceae is not included in Flora of North America “yet”.  I mainly wanted to use this map to show where the species is native. We are all a work in progress.

Distribution map for Lotus corniculatus from the USDA Plants Database. Published on the internet at https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/home. Retrieved on May 15, 2021.

The above distribution map for Lotus corniculatus is from the USDA Plants Database map for the United States and Canada. All areas in blue show where the species has been introduced.

The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations.

THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER PLANT ID.

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-8.

I always wondered what those yellow flowers were growing along the highways and backroads were. They grow right along the pavement or in the gravel. In the summer of 2019 when I was working on a friend’s farm, I noticed there were several wildflower species there that weren’t on my farm. Fortunately, I found a small colony of these plants. Guess where they are growing? Along the gravel drive going to his back pasture… Anyway, I took photos and identified them as Lotus corniculatus. Common names include Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Birdsfoot Deervetch, Eggs and Bacon, and likely others.

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-9.

When doing wildflower ID, I normally take A LOT of photos of the plant’s flowers, leaves, and stems. I did this one but most of the close-ups were too blurry. I intended to take more photos but I didn’t… I didn’t go back to his farm in the summer of 2020, nor did I take photos of them growing along a particular back road I know they grow on. I made a note to do that in 2021.

Once I take more photos, I will add descriptions. It is much better to add descriptions when you have photos. There are plenty of good websites below that can help you with ID.

I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.

I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
TROPICOS (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS/SPECIES)
THE FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
DAVE’S GARDEN
MISSOURI PLANTS
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
iNATURALIST
WILDFLOWER SEARCH
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
ILLINOIS WILDFLOWERS
MINNESOTA WILDFLOWERS
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
GO BOTANY
FLORA FINDER

NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂

 

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