Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)...

Larry Trupp

Winnipeg, Canada

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This was taken at FortWhyte our Nature Center on the southwest edge of Winnipeg, Manitoba

Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi, lens Sigma 150mm, APO Macro, F stop: F/5.6 Exposure: 1/1000 sec. Focal length: 150.0 mm Flash: flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode (16) Shutter speed (Tv): 10

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Wildflowers of North America /3/day on 30 August 2009.

Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)…

Size:…6-24 in. tall..flower about 1/2 inch wide.

What to look for:…flowers yellow to orange, in clusters, plants erect or sprawling: leaflets in 5’s (three at tip of stalk, 2 at base).

Habitat:…Roadsides, meadows and fields.

In bloom:…June to September.

This fascinating little legume is named for the shape of its seedpod which looks like the claw foot of a bird. Introduced for agricultural uses, this *wildflower is now a common roadside plant in much of the United States and Canada. It often invades lawns, and when mowed along with the grass, will bloom at heights as low as 2 inches! If left to grow on its own, it makes mounded clumps reaching up to about 2 feet, and creating an attractive groundcover. Unlike most agricultural legumes, it does not spread rapidly. However, like yarrow, Birdsfoot Trefoil is best used as a clump or specimen planting, rather than as part of a mixture. If it’s used heavily in a mixture, it’s so tough it tends to take over the whole meadow in a few years…

Note: The ancient Greeks called many plants “lotus” including trees, including trees, shrubs, water plants, and perhaps some members of this group. The Birds Foot Trefoil is a European import that has spread across our continent.*

>>Information gleaned from Reader,s Digest in their Wildflowers section.

Artwork Comments

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