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BIRD'S-FOOT TREFOIL : Lotus corniculatus

Bird’s-foot-trefoil is a common native wildflower in Weast Dunbartonshire and in fact found throughout the UK’s well-drained grasslands.

It is known as Bird’s-foot-trefoil as it produces seedpods arranged in a ‘bird’s foot’ pattern. Treoil refers to it being trifoliate ie having meaning ‘three flowers’. Many people know this flower as ‘bacon and eggs’ which refers to the vibrant red and yellow/orange colour of the flowers when they begin to open.

One of the more evocative names for common bird's-foot-trefoil is 'Granny's toenails', which gives an instant, and perhaps not-so-pleasant, impression of the claw-like seed pods of this abundant and sprawling species. Other common names include 'butter and eggs', eggs and bacon', and 'hen and chickens', which all refer to the egg-yolk yellow flowers and reddish buds. [Wildlife Trusts].

The flowers can be seen in blossom from the end of April through until mid-September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and can pollinate themselves if necessary, however, they are preferably cross-pollinated by insects such as bees and butterflies which visit the flowers to collect their abundant nectar. Pollinated flowers go on to produce several cylindrical seedpods which attach to the stem at a single point forming an unmistakable ‘bird’s foot’ shape.[Conservation Handbook].


CONSERVATION HANDBOOKS website : https://www.conservationhandbooks.com/wildflowers/birds-foot-trefoil/#:~:text=Bird%E2%80%99s-foot-trefoil%20is%20a%20common%20native%20wildflower%20found%20throughout,its%20five%20leaflets%20appear%20trifoliate%20%28meaning%20%E2%80%98three%20flowers%E2%80%99%29.

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/common-birds-foot-trefoil

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