Lotus tetragonolobus L.

Winged Pea

Sp. Pl. 2: 773 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Extinct

Establishment means:Introduced

Decumbent hairy annual herb; stems to 40 cm tall, pilose. Leaflets dimorphic, sparsely pubescent; basal 2 ovate, to 5–10 mm long, 3–7 mm wide, apices ± acute; terminal 3 obovate, 15–50 mm long, 8–20 mm wide, apices usually acute. Inflorescence 1- or 2-flowered; peduncle 2–4 cm long; calyx campanulate, c. 15 mm long, pilose, teeth erect in bud, about equal, longer than or as long as tube; corolla c. 20 mm long, dark red to purple; standard ovate-orbicular to obovate-orbicular, longer than keel. Pod terete, 3–7 cm long, 5–7 mm wide, straight, glabrous, margins thickened, with 4 undulate, papery wings, c. 2–4 mm wide; seeds many, subglobose, 3.5–4.5 mm long, mottled, brown.

Naturalised in NSW. Native to southern Europe.

Cultivated for its edible fruits, recorded twice in Victoria at St. Albans in 1898 (Willis 1973) and on the Delatite River in 1892. There are no recent records, and it is possible that both collections were made from cultivated plants.

Distinguished by its prominently winged pods and showy scarlet flowers. Lotus tetragonolobus is sometimes treated in a separate genus, Tetragonolobus Scop.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2016-05-09
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-08
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Lotus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Lotus tetragonolobus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lotus tetragonolobus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Highlands-Northern Fall extinct introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales