Lotus corniculatus (Bird's foot trefoil)

Full Sun
Soil Type:
Most Types

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Plant Overview

One of our wonderful native perennial wildflowers from the pea family. Widespread and found in all kinds of grassy places, from lawns to downlands, roadside verges to heathlands, common bird's-foot-trefoil can be seen flowering from May to September.

The name 'bird's foot' refers to the appearance of the seed pods on their stalk. Five leaflets are present, but with the central three held conspicuously above the others, hence the use of the name 'trefoil'.

It is often used as forage and is widely used as food for livestock due to its nonbloating properties.

Like all of our native wildflowers, this is wonderfully adapted to suit our native pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies etc. It also grows according to its environment. For example, in a lawn it rarely exceeds 2-3", but in an uncut hay meadow, it will reach 18" or so.

Bird's-foot-trefoil has a variety of names that conjure up some interesting images: 'Eggs and Bacon', for instance or 'Granny's toenails', which gives an instant, and perhaps unpleasant, impression of the claw-like seed pods.

Grow in a wildflower meadow or area or at the front of beds or in containers.

Height and Spread: 15cm x 30cm.

Common names: Bird's foot trefoil; Eggs and Bacon; Granny's toenails; Bird's foot clover; Bloomfel; Butter-jags; Cheesecake grass; Cross toes; Crow's foot; Crowtoes; Fingers and thumbs; Fingers and toes; Ground honeysuckle; Lamb's cress; Lamb's toes; Sheep foot; Shoes and stockings.







Photo: Isidre blanc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.