Common Bird's-foot-trefoil - Lotus corniculatus

Alt Name

Variable but usually 10 to 20 cm in height, rather sprawling with a solid stem woody at base. Flowers yellow or orangey, sometimes tinged red. 10 to 16 mm in clusters of 2 to 7. Seed pod 15 to 30 mm straight.

Similar Species

Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil is taller, more luxuriant version with darker leaves. It has 5-12 flowers in each head compared to the 2-7 found in Birdsfoot Trefoil. The two have different habitats, Birdsfoot Trefoil is found in dry grassy places, wheras Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil is a plant of damp and marshy areas.

Photo ID?

Short grassy habitats, road verges, etc.

When to see it

May to September.

Life History


UK Status

Very common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 553 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map