Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus), 3 plants in 7 cm pots.
Greater Bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) produces a succession of bright nectar-rich yellow flowers from June to late August. The Birdsfoot of the name refers to the shape formed by its seed pods.
It is bolder and more vigorous and does better than its relative Lotus corniculatus in areas where the soil remains wet.
It is a legume, a member of the pea family. A characteristic of this family is its ability to make use of atmospheric nitrogen to make its proteins. Well not exactly, it recruits the help of symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobium which invade the root hairs of host plants, where they multiply and stimulate formation of nodules within which they convert free nitrogen to ammonia, which the host plant can use for its development. The seeds of legumes used agriculturally are usually inoculated with commercial cultures of Rhizobium species, in case they are not already present in the soil.
Legumes like clover, Black Medic and Bird's-foot trefoil are used (less and less unfortunately) in crop rotations to add nitrogen to the soil that has been removed by previous cereal crops, thus greatly reducing the need for artificial nitrogenous fertilisers.
As well as being a great nectar plant for bees and butterflies, Greater as well as Common Bird's-foot Trefoil is a main foodplant of caterpillars of the Cryptic Wood White, Wood White, and the Common Blue butterflies. It is also the foodplant of the rare Dingy Skipper, and one of the foodplants of the Six Spot Burnet Moth.
Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil is perennial and and can be purchased at any time of year for planting in display containers or directly into your garden to flower next year. In the future, it can easily be propagated by splitting. Ideal for damp areas at the side of ponds, avoiding places that dry out. For drier areas use Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).
You are purchasing three well-rooted leafy plants in three 7 cm square pots. We grow our plants from the tiny bean-like seeds illustrated.
We have a Flat Rate postage option of £2.95 if you wish to purchase more than one pack of Greater Birds-foot Trefoil.
Ladyburn Plant Nursery has been registered, by the Scottish Government, as a Professional Operator who is authorised to issue plant passports. (These are now required for internet sales of all plants including native plants sold within the UK, not just those for those shipped abroad, as previously). Registration Number GB-S 03473.
Please note that our plants are sold purely for their biodiversity, educational and aesthetic value and should not be consumed unless you are absolutely certain of their safety.
Please note also that our nursery is located at Cupar, our St Andrews address being for correspondence only.