Bird’s-foot Trefoil is very variable in size. Amongst short grass the small flowers may be just inches off the ground.
In many parts of the world Bird’s-foot Trefoil is grown as an animal fodder and I read that it can yield up to four tons of hay per acre. That is difficult to comprehend when you see the tiny flowers growing in short cropped grass.
The name Bird’s-foot comes from the seed pods which are claw like and resemble a Bird’s foot. Another popular name for this plant is Granny’s Toenails.
The Trefoil part of the name is a reference to the leaves. Each leaf is actually made up of five leaflets but two of these are at the base of the mid rib and the remaining three form the trefoil at the end of the leaf.
Bird’s-foot Trefoil is a very important wildlife plant and as such a wonderful addition to any garden. It is especially valuable as a larval food plant for many of our most beautiful Moths and Butterflies including the Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Silver Studded Blue and these Common Blues.
It is native to the UK, Eurasia and North Africa.
Species: Lotus corniculatus