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Greater Birds Foot Trefoil

Lotus uliginosus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lotus (LO-tus) (Info)
Species: uliginosus (ew-li-gi-NO-sus) (Info)


Ponds and Aquatics

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 1: below -45.6 C (-55 F)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Merced, California

Gap, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 29, 2014, LizaR from Gap, PA wrote:

I was looking for a yellow blooming ground cover to mix in with other perennials. After reading about this plant I decided to try it from seed. Germinated indoors and planted outdoors in peat pots. Was a bit slow getting established the first summer. But by end of that summer had proved to be a prolific grower and bloomer. It has easily come back every year without being invasive.
Horse owners should however beware of this plant. It has been mass planted in both the US and southern Canada as foraging for both cattle and sheep. However, horses can not tolerate the tannin this plant contains.
I planted this on a steep slope in full sun. It seems to needs no particular care other than an occasional watering during very dry weather.


On Aug 30, 2001, Baa wrote:

A tough perennial native to Western Europe, has hairy leaves divided into 5 leaflets. Bears yellow sometimes reddish tinged pea flowers each head comprising of 5 - 12 flowers. Seed pods turn purple/black and are held like a birds foot.

Good plant for pondside planting, natural habitat is damp grassland.