Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
- Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
- Flowering: May-September.
- Field Marks: This species differs from all members of the pea family by its 5 leaflets and head-like umbels of bright yellow flowers.
- Habitat: Roadsides, old fields, disturbed soil.
- Habit: Perennial herbs.
- Stems: Erect or sprawling on the ground, branched, smooth or sparsely hairy, up to 1 1/2 feet long.
- Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound with 5 leaflets, the leaflets elliptic, rounded or pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, somewhat hairy, up to 2/3 inch long, up to 1/3 inch wide, without leaflet stalks.
- Flowers: Several in head-like umbels, bright yellow, up to 2/3 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united into a tube.
- Petals: 5, sweet pea-shaped, bright yellow, up to 2/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 10.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods cylindric, smooth, up to 1 3/4 inches long.
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