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Lotus corniculatus  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: 3 - 24 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Decumbent or rarely erect, several-branched from base.
Leaves: Alternate, short-stalked, pinnately 5-foliolate; leaflets obovate to broadly lanceolate, 1/4 to 3/4 inch long, about 1/4 inch wide, nearly sessile, glabrous or slightly pubescent; tips blunt or pointed; 3 leaflets grouped together at tip of rachis, lower 2 at base of rachis and resembling stipules.
Inflorescences: Umbels, 3-8-flowered, on stalks 4-6 inches long.
Flowers: Showy; calyces 5-lobed; tips pointed; corollas papilionaceous, bright yellow to orange-red, about 1/2 inch long; stamens 10, 9 united, 1 free.
Fruits: Pods, slender, linear, 1-1.5 inch long, dark brown to black, twisting somewhat when dry, resembling bird's feet; seeds 8-18, small, often spotted.
Habitat: Roadsides, disturbed areas, fields, and waste ground.
Distribution: East half of Kansas.
Origin: This native of Europe was introduced into the U.S. and has escaped from planted areas.
Forage Value: Drought resistant and produces nutritious, palatable forage for livestock and deer. It is thought not to cause bloat, as many legumes do.
Uses: Game birds and small mammals eat the seeds. Bird's-foot trefoil is sometimes planted for pasture and hay, and for soil conservation along highways.
Comments: The common name comes from the slender, spreading seed pods that resemble toes on a bird's foot.

Birds-foot trefoil
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Riley County, Kansas
Birds-foot trefoil flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
Birds-foot trefoil inflorescence
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Riley County, Kansas
Birds-foot trefoil pod
70 KB
Riley County, Kansas