Common name: Birds-foot Trefoil
Lotus uliginosus Schkuhr APNI*
Synonyms: Lotus major Scop. APNI*
Lotus pedunculatus Cav. APNI*
Description: Prostrate or ascending, rhizomatous perennial 20–80 cm high; stems hollow, glabrous to sparsely pilose.
Leaves with 5 leaflets, obovate to ovate, 4–25 mm long, 3–15 mm wide, lower 2 usually smaller than other ones, apex ± rounded, glabrous to sparsely hairy, lower surface glaucous.
Umbels usually 8–14-flowered; peduncle 3–12 cm long. Calyx 5–7 long, ± glabrous, upper 2 teeth separated by an acute sinus. Corolla 10–12 mm long, yellow with reddish veins on standard; keel strongly upturned almost at right angles.
Pod terete, 15–35 mm long, 1.5–2 mm diam., ± straight, dark brown; seeds many, yellow to brownish.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in moist sites, often in pastures on poorly-drained acidic soils; mostly south from Grafton district. Native of Eur. & N Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *SWS
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A.
This species is variable, especially in relation to indumentum and shape and size of leaflets. It resembles and has often been confused with L. pedunculatus, which differs in having narrower acute leaflets, umbels with 3-8 flowers, flowers to 18 mm long and an obtuse sinus beween upper calyx teeth.
Text by E. H. Norris & G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 2 (1991)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.