Bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus
|Status||Green - Least concern|
|Best Time to See||May, June, July, August, September|
Also known as 'eggs and bacon' because of the yellow and orange hue of the pea-like flowers.
Although disagreeable to humans, bird's-foot trefoil is an important source of food for other creatures. Pollinating insects find it a perfect source of nectar and it is used as a forage plant for livestock. The 'bird's-foot' of its name refers to the shape of its seed pods.
Deep yellow flowers in clusters are often red-tinged. Leaves with 5 narrowly oval leaflets, the lower 2 bent back by the stem so that the leaves appear trefoil (3-lobed).
Found across the UK.
Meadows, roadsides and other grassland areas.
Best time to see
When it blooms, usually between May and September.
Did you know?
The Victorian's used flowers as a code to express hidden emotions. Some symbols of this "language of flowers" are still with us - for example, red roses are a well known emblem of true love. Bird's-foot trefoil, however, was one of the few to denote darker thoughts: it symbolised revenge.
One of the more evocative names is 'Granny's Toenails' which gives an instant impression of its claw-like seed pods.