Birdsfoot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus

Birdsfoot Trefoil is a perennial broadleaf weed that is known by many names, including Bloom-fell, Cat's Clover, Crow-toes, Ground Honeysuckle, Sheep-foot, Devil’s-claw and Lotus cornicalatus.

Identify

Alternate

Alternate

Entire

Entire

Obovate

Obovate

Birdsfoot Trefoil is identified as a low-growing, mat-forming weed. This broadleaf weed has stems that can become woody with age and are square at the top and round at the base, with or without hairs. It also has well-developed rhizomes, stolons and a coarse secondary root system. The plant resembles clover but has two leaf-like stipules at the base of the petioles. Birdsfoot Trefoil flowers in late spring and blooms throughout the summer, producing small, yellow flowers forming a legume shape. Reproduction of this broadleaf weed occurs by seeds, stolons and rhizomes.

Life Cycle

This broadleaf weed is often found in lawns and along roadsides and waste areas. It is found throughout much of the continental United States.

Life Cycle Image

Control

Proper cultural practices, such as proper mowing and watering, can help prevent Lotus corniculatus by creating dense grass, which inhibits this broadleaf weed’s ability to grow. Physical removal (i.e., pulling weeds) can be effective, though you run the risk of spreading the seeds to additional areas of your lawn and landscape.

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