Lotus pedunculatus

Lotus pedunculatus (formerly Lotus uliginosus), the big trefoil,[1] greater bird's-foot-trefoil[2] or marsh bird's-foot trefoil, is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae).

Lotus pedunculatus
Lotus uliginosus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Lotus
L. pedunculatus
Binomial name
Lotus pedunculatus

Lotus uliginosus Schkuhr

It is a herbaceous perennial growing throughout Europe in damp, open locations. As one common name suggests, it is a larger plant than related Lotus species, growing 20–80 cm (8–30 in) tall, with leaflets 10–25 mm (0.4–1 in) long and 10–20 mm (0.4–0.8 in) broad. Five to twelve golden-yellow flowers 10–18 mm (0.4–0.7 in) long are borne in an umbel at the tip of the upright stem.

Unlike related species, the stem is always hollow, and the sepals turn back at their tips – these sepal tips form a characteristic "green star" at the end of the flower bud. The peak flowering period in the United Kingdom is June and July.[3]

Lotus pedunculatus occurs in a wide range of neutral, damp, open habitats, including certain fen-meadow plant associations such as Juncus subnodulosus-Cirsium palustre fen-meadow habitat.[4]

Lotus pedunculatus is also a host plant for ovipositioning of the wood white butterfly, Leptidea sinapis.[5]



  1. ^ "Lotus pedunculatus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ C. A. Stace, Interactive Flora of the British Isles, a Digital Encyclopaedia. ISBN 90-75000-69-3. (Online version Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine)
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Marsh Thistle: Cirsium palustre, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Strömberg Archived December 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Clarke, S. A.; Green, D. G.; Joy, J.; Wollen, K.; Butler, I. (2011-04-01). "Leptidea sinapis (Wood White butterfly) egg-laying habitat and adult dispersal studies in Herefordshire". Journal of Insect Conservation. 15 (1-2): 23–35. doi:10.1007/s10841-010-9300-8. ISSN 1366-638X.

External linksEdit