Lotus Corniculatus – Birdsfoot trefoil

Also known as bacon and eggs, and baby’s slippers.

Birdsfoot trefoil is a low-growing, ground hugging plant it is called birdsfoot because the shape of it’s seedpod looks like the claw foot of a bird, and the name bacon and eggs because of it’s variegated colours as the flowers are opening, though once fully open the flowers become more of a uniform yellow.

Birdsfoot trefoil is a perennial and comes back every year, though during it’s first year it only forms leaf growth then blooms from second year onwards, though certainly worth the wait.

Flowers: attractive variegated colours as the flowers start to open changing to yellow approx 15mm long. The flowers appear in late april-early may (from 2nd year) and continues to flower until mid september

Foliage: herbaceous, smooth, velvet/fuzzy texture. Leaves have five leaftets but the lower two are at base and bent back so looking more like stipules.

Ideal on paths, rockery, water/pond edge, bare ground and short grass.

Height: up to approx 2 feet if left alone (makes mounded clumps)

It often invades lawns, and when mowed along with the grass, will bloom at heights as low as 2″.

Position: full sun-partial shade, well-drained soil. Water regularly though do not over water.

Attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

Zone: 2-10

About the Author


Maria is currently growing everything from seed that she can lay her hands on. Also playing with colours and textures to fulfill her garden desires...