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A picture of a Bird's Foot Trefoil

Bird's Foot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus

Also known as

Bacon And Eggs, Dutchman’s Clogs, Lady’s Slippers, Granny’s Toenails, Devil’s Fingers, Birdfoot Deervetch, Bird's Eyes, Bird's Foot Clover, Bloomfel, Butter-Jags, Cat In Clover, Cheesecake Grass, Cross Toes, Crowtoes, Crow's Foot, Fingers And Thumbs, Fingers And Toes, Ground Honeysuckle, Lady's Fingers, Lamb's Cress, Lamb's Toes, Sheep Foot, Shoes And Stockings, Common Bird's-Foot-Trefoil, Cat's Clover, Garden Birdsfoot Trefoil, Horned Trefoil, Bacon and eggs, Trefoil

Photo by Sledge689 (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Bird's Foot Trefoil

A photo of Bird's Foot Trefoil
A photo of Bird's Foot Trefoil
A photo of Bird's Foot Trefoil
A photo of Bird's Foot Trefoil
A photo of Bird's Foot Trefoil

Bird's Foot Trefoil Overview

Lotus corniculatus is a perennial species commonly known as bird's foot trefoil, amongst many other common names. It is part of the legume family, Fabaceae (Fabaceae) and has a lax, bushy habit. It typically grows to around 20cm tall, producing interesting foliage in arrangements of 5 leaves. The seed pods are said to resemble bird feet and the trefoil part of the common name originates from the leaf arrangement. The leaves are divided into leaflets and these are arranged oppositely in a terminal trio, with a small pair below. Flowers are bright yellow, similar to the colour of egg yolk and these open from red-orange buds. Flowering occurs from late spring through to early autumn, leading onto long, thin seed pods.

Common problems with Bird's Foot Trefoil

How to propagate Bird's Foot Trefoil



Propagate from cuttings in early summer or from seed in autumn or spring.

Special features of Bird's Foot Trefoil

Attracts butterflies

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Good nectar source for pollinating insects such as bees, can also provide food for moth larva.

Other uses of Bird's Foot Trefoil

Wildflower/meadow, also suitable for coastal conditions.

Seedball - Hedgehog Mix

Sow seeds March-May or mid August-mid November. Flowers between mid-April to mid-September.

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Planting For Butterflies - Host/Food Plants

Include these plants in your garden for butterflies to hatch out caterpillars on.

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