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Lotus corniculatus - L.
                 
Common Name Bird's Foot Trefoil
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 3-8
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous, containing cyanogenic glycosides(hydrogen cyanide)[65, 76]. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death. This species is polymorphic for cyanogenic glycosides[218]. The flowers of some forms of the plant contain traces of prussic acid and so the plants can become mildly toxic when flowering[218]. They are completely innocuous when dried[218].
Habitats Pastures and sunny banks of streams, especially on calcareous soils[7, 13, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and temperate Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.

Lotus corniculatus Bird


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleaned-Illustration_Lotus_corniculatus.jpg
Lotus corniculatus Bird
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Kumbayo
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Lotus corniculatus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Lawn; Meadow;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

The young seedpods are 'nibbled'[177]. Caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Cardiotonic;  Carminative;  Febrifuge;  Hypoglycaemic;  Restorative;  Sedative;  
Tonic;  Vermifuge.

Carminative, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, restorative, vermifuge[178]. The flowers are antispasmodic, cardiotonic and sedative[7]. The root is carminative, febrifuge, restorative and tonic[218]. The plant is used externally as a local anti-inflammatory compress in all cases of skin inflammation[7].
Other Uses
Dye;  Green manure.

An orange-yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[74]. A useful green manure plant, fixing atmospheric nitrogen[7]. It is difficult to see this plant as a useful green manure, it is fairly slow growing with us and does not produce much bulk[K].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Rock garden. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Dislikes shade[200]. Does well on poor soils[61]. An important food plant for many caterpillars[30]. It is also a good bee plant[74], the flowers providing an important source of nectar[240]. The flowers are powerfully scented, even though they are able to pollinate themselves[245]. The plant spreads very freely at the roots[1]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. Special Features:Attracts butterflies.
Propagation
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in the spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 15°c. If seed is in short supply, it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring or early summer.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Diospyros lotusDate Plum51
Lotus edulis 30
Lotus halophilusGreater Bird's Foot Trefoil10
Lotus tetragonolobusAsparagus Pea, Winged pea30
Lotus uliginosusGreater Bird's Foot Trefoil00
Melilotus albusWhite Melilot22
Melilotus altissimusTall Melilot, Tall yellow sweetclover20
Melilotus elegansElegant sweetclover10
Melilotus indicusAnnual Yellow Sweetclover12
Melilotus officinalisMelilot, Sweetclover23
Melilotus suaveolensSweetclover11
Melilotus wolgicusSweetclover10
Nelumbo luteaAmerican Water Lotus, American lotus41
Nelumbo nuciferaSacred Water Lotus, Sacred lotus43
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Expert comment
 
Author
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Botanical References
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Links / References
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Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Peter C Horn Thu Sep 28 2006
Although the plant has medicinal uses, it has no history in Gt Britain as a medicinal herb. It does not appear in the Anglo-Saxon Herbals, or later Herbals such as Culpeper, Gerard down to Mrs Grieve (1931). Nor does the plant appear in Turner's 'Names of Plants.'This is strange considering that the plant is a very common native of England.
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Subject : Lotus corniculatus  

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