Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Bird's-foot-trefoil - Lotus corniculatus   L.
Members of Fabaceae:
Members of Lotus with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionScattered across the state. First collected from a pasture in Iredell County in 1937. Apparently slow to colonize new sites. It is possible that some NC records may refer to L. tenuis, which by some authors is only varietally distinct; specimens need to be re-examined.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. throughout, except for LA, MS, FL, SC.
AbundanceRare to locally uncommon. However, individual populations may be large locally, such as between Rodanthe and Salvo on the Outer Banks.
HabitatRoadsides, roadbanks, pastures, sandy creek bank.
PhenologyFlowering May-July.
IdentificationBird's-foot-trefoil is a tufted to sprawling plant, the stems radiating from a central point. The leaves are well-spaced, divided into 3 oblanceolate leaflets. The flowers are terminal, golden yellow, and clustered. Narrowleaf Bird's-foot-trefoil (L. tenuis) is very similar and differs only by the narrower linear-lanceolate leaflets.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieRoadside Scranton, PA, August 2014. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

View Mapping Selection Options
Select a source
Select an occurrence type