Bird's-foot - Ornithopus perpusillus


Tiny, low, prostrate, hairy plant. Leaflets 7 to 13 pairs, elliptical to oblong. Flowers white or pink, 3 to 5 mm, in heads of 3 to 8. Bracts with 5 to 9 leaflets, longer than the flowers.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

A very small plant, with many pairs of leaflets

Recording advice

A photo of the whole plant, showing leaves as well as flowers


Open patches of short turf, waste and arable ground, generally on rather dry, acid or gravelly soil.

When to see it

May to August.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in England and Wales, scarcer elsewhere in Britain.

VC55 Status

Infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 14 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist, (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native; heath-grassland; scarce.

It is on the Rare Plant Register

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map