Bird's Foot Trefoil, Baby's Slippers, Bacon and Eggs

Lotus corniculatus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lotus (LO-tus) (Info)
Species: corniculatus (korn-ee-ku-LAY-tus) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall





Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

, (2 reports)

Scotia, California

Carrollton, Georgia

Derby, Kansas

Cumberland, Maryland

Oakland, Maryland

Halifax, Massachusetts

Erie, Michigan

Unionville, Michigan

Isle, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Haviland, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Norwich, Vermont

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 29, 2010, carpathiangirl from Akron, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Produces it's own nitrogen and often called a 'green manure', great forage source rated higher than alfalfa. Not to mention the bees and other beneficial insects love it. I have it growing in my lawn and love the bright flowers and lush foliage in spring to mid summer. Yes, it's moderately invasive so plant it where you can let it be.


On Jul 4, 2010, nicholtammy from Huntsville,
Canada wrote:

It grows better in my lawn than the grass does and stays shortish I have a lawn with no shade at all and mostly sand. I have read that this plant may be poisonous.


On Jan 18, 2010, Laurette6669 from (Hanmer) Sudbury, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted this in the front of my flower bed, expecting it to stay low to the did NOT....infact, it attempted to take over the entire flower bed....tried cutting it back some bu,t it still went rampent..needless to say, I yanked it all out.....very fast growing....blooms nice flowers......


On Nov 3, 2007, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Considered invasive by the MN DNR
From their website....
"Ecological Threat:
Birdsfoot trefoil forms dense mats choking and shading out most other vegetation.
It grows best in the Midwest and is most problematic in prairies and disturbed open areas, such as roadsides.
Prescribed burns increase seed germination making it troublesome in native prairies.
This European species has been introduced to the U.S. and Canada for livestock forage and erosion control along roadsides. It is still sold commercially. "


On Jun 17, 2006, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I just dug up a part of this plant growing by the side of the road. I am putting it in my garden because it's beautiful & seems to be hardy to PA.


On Jul 7, 2005, kbaumle from Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is in bloom EVERYWHERE here now. It attracts attention by the side of the road, and we see it when we go bike riding. I want to dig up a cluster of it for my Ohio wildflower garden.


On Oct 13, 2004, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I grew this from seed this year. Each one of my plants are currently 3 feet wide. It didn't flower much or produce seeds. So hopefully more flowers next season.


On Mar 23, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

The name Birdsfoot Trefoil for this plant is because the group of seed pods can resemble a birds foot. Although the flowers occur in groups of about 7, not all develop seed pods and there are frequently three slender pods joined at their base, resembling a bird's foot, with three long toes.


On Jul 18, 2002, Baa wrote:

A creeping perennial from Europe.

Has lance shaped, hairy or hairless, mid-dark green leaflets borne in 5s, the upper 3 leaflets are separated from the lower 2 by short stems. Bears small, pea shaped, yellow to reddish yellow flowers which become darker with age. The seed pods are shiny, lance shaped and black when ripe.

Flowers April - September

Likes a well drained soil in full sun.

This chap can become invasive and will escape into the wild from the garden, so be careful of introducing it to the garden especially where no other L. corniculatus are present.