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Lotus corniculatus
BIRD'S-FOOT TREFOIL

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LEGUME FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1--many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: LotusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, unarmed. Leaf: generally odd-1-pinnate; stipules gland-like, reduced to bumps, or inconspicuous; leaflets 3--9, lower 2 in stipular position or not, others +- palmately arranged. Inflorescence: umbel or 1--3-flowered, axillary, peduncled, bract 1--3-parted. Flower: corolla generally yellow, in age darkening; 9 filaments fused, 1 free. Fruit: dehiscent, exserted from calyx, linear to narrowly oblong, +- beaked. Seed: few to several.
Species In Genus: +- 125 species: Europe, Africa, to eastern Asia, Australia, New Caledonia; cultivated as forage, ground cover, ornamental. Etymology: (Greek: derivation unclear) Note: Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Acmispon and Hosackia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Luc Brouillet

Lotus corniculatus L.
NATURALIZED
Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous or strigose. Stem: decumbent or ascending to erect, generally solid. Leaf: stipules gland-like; leaflets 5, 4--22 mm, 2--11 mm wide, ovate to obovate, tip obtuse, often abruptly soft-pointed or acuminate. Inflorescence: (1)3--7(10)-flowered; peduncle 1.5--12 cm. Flower: calyx 5--7.5 mm, lobes +- = tube, not outcurved in bud; corolla 10--14(16) mm, bright yellow. Fruit: 1.5--3(4) cm, narrowly oblong, glabrous. Seed: few to several. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Open, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: to northern United States, southern Canada; native to Eurasia. Toxicity: Some plants TOXIC by production of cyanide-releasing compounds. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: Luc Brouillet
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Citation for this treatment: Luc Brouillet 2016. Lotus corniculatus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=31561, accessed on April 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on April 28, 2016.


Lotus corniculatus
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Lotus corniculatus
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Lotus corniculatus
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Lotus corniculatus
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© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Lotus corniculatus
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Lotus corniculatus
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© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Lotus corniculatus in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Lotus corniculatus:
CA-FP, GB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.