BIRD'S-FOOT CLOVER

Trifolium ornithopodioides

Pea Family [Fabaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
or Pink
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
stem
stem8round
 
rarity
rarityZuncommon
 

29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Only a slightly rare [R]. An annual which is prostrate and with length up to 20cm. Flowers white (sometimes pale pink) and in small bunches of between 1 to 4. The flowers are on short stalks, none of which can be seen in any of these photos.


29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Flower here mostly white but tinged pink in places. They are 6 to 8mm long and do not open much. [The thicker branched stems are of some other plant]


29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Sepal teeth: two long ones and 3 shorter ones.


29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Leaves are a darker green and trefoil, the leaflets often wider nearer the end. Leadlet have but few veins and often terminating in quite pronounced teeth. The sepals on some specimens might be splayed out near the tip. just under the 2 flowers is an empty sepal cup with 5 teeth all slightly contorted nearer the end. [The other 2 projections are, your Author thinks, leaves - for they have teeth]


29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Just the leaves; sometimes just the teeth are poking up out of the sand. [The thicker stems are of other plants]


29th April 2011, revetment, Lake, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
[The thicker stems are of other plants]


Easily confused with : Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Not to be semantically confused with : Bird's-Foot (Carex ornithopoda), < (), Bird-in-a-bush (Corydalis solida), Bird's-eyes (Gilia tricolor), Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus angustissimus), Common Bird's-foot-Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Large Bird's-foot-Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) or Orange Bird's-foot (Ornithopus pinnatus) [plants with similar names, many in the same family Fabaceae, but differing genera and some not].

It is a procumbent and annual species growing to 20cm long with small pinkish-white flowers in small groups. The leaves have fewer but more prounced teeth than most other Clover family plants. It grows usually near the sea on sandy and little-shaded ground. It is found on the coasts from North Norfolk to South Lancs via the south coast. Also around the IoM and County Down Ireland.

Somewhat paradoxically, some sources claim that this plant, Bird's-foot Clover Trifolium ornithopodioides is Fenugreek, but it appears that that is not the case. It apparently has a Coumarin like scent and can be used as a Fenugreek substitute. The real Fenugreek is Trigonalla foenum-graecum and is also a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae) (as is Bird's-foot Clover).


  Trifolium ornithopodioides  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Trifolium
Trifolium
(Clovers)

BIRD'S-FOOT CLOVER

Trifolium ornithopodioides

Pea Family [Fabaceae]