Lotus corniculatus L.

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Sp. Pl. 775 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Introduced

Procumbent or weakly erect perennial herb; stems to 90 cm long, glabrous or sparsely appressed-hairy. Leaflets dimorphic, virtually glabrous; basal 2 ovate to triangular, 2.5–12 mm long, 2–5 mm wide, apices acute; terminal 3 linear to obovate, 3–15 mm long, 0.5–6 mm wide, apices acute or obtuse. Inflorescences 1–6-flowered; peduncle 1.5–10 cm long; calyx campanulate, 4.5–8 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, teeth erect in bud, about equal, shorter than or as long as tube; corolla 7–16 mm long, yellow with red veins, drying green; standard ovate, obovate or suborbicular, longer than keel; keel obtusely curved on lower edge, beak straight, shiny. Pod terete, 1–4 cm long, 1–3 mm wide, more or less straight, glabrous; seeds 5–20, globose, 1.5–2 mm long, dark brown.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HFE, *HNF, *HSF, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP.

2 varieties occur in Australia.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Lotus
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Lotus corniculatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lotus corniculatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present introduced
Glenelg Plain present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present introduced
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present introduced
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Greater Grampians present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Far East present introduced
Victorian Alps present introduced
Snowy Mountains present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory