Lotus corniculatus L.

1721 (2). L. corniculatus L., Sp. PI. ed. 1 (1753) 775, s. str.; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. I (1926) 879; Ujhelyi, Ann. Hist. Nat. Mus. Hung. LII (1960) 186; Zertova, Preslia XXXIII (1961) 17; Larsen et Zertova, Bot. Tidskr. LI (1963); Ball, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 174 — Обикновен звездан

Fam:   Leguminosae Juss. (Fabaceae)
Genus:   Lotus L.
Species: Lotus corniculatus L.
English Name: Common bird's-foot trefoil,  Bird's-foot trefoil


Perennial. The stem lay out, ascending or upright (5.0) 15.0 - 35.0 (55.0) cm long from the base branched, round, solid or hollow, bare or hairy. Leaves imparipinnate; axis (2.0) 5.0 - 8.0 (9.0) mm long. Leaflets 5, 4.0 - 18.0 mm long and 1.0 - 10.0 mm wide, not more than 3 times longer than wide, above three lance, back lance, back ovate to ovate semicircular back in base wedge narrowed; lower two ovate to ovate lance, at the base suddenly narrowed, all the top pointed, blunt or rounded, green, bare or more or less fibrous. Stipule small, stellated or undeveloped. Flowering branches 2.0 - 6.0 (8.0 - 10.0) cm long, naked, longer than the axillary leaves. Flowers (2) 3 - 7 in clusters of head or single in the bosom of the leaves. Flower stems 1.0 - 2.5 mm long, bare or long fibrous. Calyx 5.0 - 6.0 (8.0) mm long and 3.0- 5.0 mm wide, pipe-like bell-shaped, goals or scattered fiber, regular; triangular teeth styliform, more or less equal or slightly longer than the tube, inside idly short fiber. Corolla 10.0 - 12.0 (15.0) mm long. Flag 7.0 - 8.0 mm wide, round, the top entire, in the bottom third gradually narrowed in wide long claw, barely longer than the wings and keel or equal with them, yellow, often with reddish veins, rarely reddish, by drying often greenish, naked. Wings elliptical ovate, basically a large elliptical appendage, narrowed into short thin nails; equal to the keel, yellow, naked. Ovoid elliptical keel, the top prolonged peaked strongly curved sickle, basically thin nails, yellow, rarely orange or reddish goals. Beans 1.5 - 3.0 cm long and (1.5) 2.0 - 2.5 mm wide, cylindrical linear, cross section round, the top short-pointed, not Pinch, naked, with many seeds, break out into blossom. Seeds 1.5 - 1.8 mm long, lenticular, dark brown, smooth.


var. corniculatus; L. corniculatus var. sylvaticus Baumg., Enum. Stirp. Transs. II (1816) 349; L. major Scop., Fl. Carn. II (1772) 86; L. corniculatus var. vulgaris Koch, Syn. ed. 1 (1835) 154; L. corniculatus var. alpinus auct. bulg. non Ser. Stem solid or hollow, bare or slightly hairy. Leaves more or less bare. Calyx goals rarely teeth inside cilia. Scattered throughout the country.
var. ciliatus Koch, I.e. ampl .; L. corniculatus var. hirsutus Koch, 1. c. Stem thick, more or less fiber. Leaves only the edge or on the surfaces (mainly lower) short to long, densely to absently, soft to firm fiber. Calyx absently fiber. Widespread.

Economic importance. Prime fodder plant. Young plants grazed happily on all animals. With the development of the flowers content of cyanogenic glucosides increase (Smirnova, Ikonnikov, flies, 1956; Grant & Sidhu, 1967), but in hay or silage condition is harmless. Studies show Bulgarian populations (in dry matter: Popov, 1926; Stefanova, 1936) crude protein: 13.19 - 17.27% protein, 10.26 - 12.22% digestible protein: 6.24 - 9, 43%, crude fat: 2.06 - 3.40% nitrogen- free agents: 30.0 - 45.0% raw cellulose: 29.45% - 40.98%. Suitable for artificial breeding and grass mixtures.

Note. Initially this tetraploid species was considered autoploid (Dawson, 1941), and later its origin is sought by L. tenuis (diploid). More recent studies have revealed in sectia Corniculatae number of diploid species (Qrant, 1965; Grant et Zandstra, 1968; Larsen et Zertova, 1963). The study of phenolic compounds in kind (Harney et Grant, 1964) speak of the presence in the genome of L. corniculatus genes at least three or four different output types - complex alotetraploid. Both Larsen and Zertova (1963) and Stebbins (1971) showed, L. corniculatus is tetraploid species with unresolved parental species (probably more than two). The species shows a significant clonal variation within its area of ​​more regarding (conf. Borsos, 1966):
   - The relationship between the teeth of the calyx and tube and calyx indumentum (var. corniculatus, var. microdon Peterm., var. dabasensis Borsos, f. calycipilosus Borsos, f. calycivilosus Borsos, f. tenuiformis Borsos, f. mcrodontiformis Borsos).
- The position of the trunk space and branching him (f. ramosissimus Borsos, f. sylvaticusBaumg., f. pumilis Borsos, f. angustifolius Borsos, f. grandis Borsos, f. altissimus Borsos, f. minor Borsos, f. longicaulis Borsos , f. ramosus Borsos, f. humilis Borsos, f. tenuiformis Borsos, f. magnus Borsos, f. heterophyllus Borsos, microcaulis Borsos, var. salinus Schur, var. alpestrisLamotte, f. alpestris Gimk., f. carpaticus Borsos, subsp. major (Scop.) Gams, var. colocensis (Menyh.) Borsos, subsp. decumbens (Poir.) Briq., subsp. alpinus Schleich.) Rothm.).
- Size of corolla (f. grandiflorus Rouy, f. minor Beck, f. grandis Borsos, f. grandicapitatus Borsos, f. grandipetalus Borsos, f. macranthus Borsos, f. magnus Borsos, subsp. alpinus (Schleich.) Rothm.).
   - The size and shape of the leaves (f. parvifolius Peterm., f. arvensis (Schkuhr) Ser., f. pumilis Borsos, f. vernalis Borsos, f. angustifolius Borsos, f. platyphyllus Borsos, f, microphallus Borsos, f. grandiflorus Borsos, f. longifolius Borsos, f. diversifolia Borsos, f. microdontiformis Borsos, f. substenophyllus Borsos, f. heterophyllus Borsos).
   - Indumentum of the  leaves (var. hirsutus Koch, var. ciliatus Koch, f. pilosissimus Schur var. pilosus (Jord.) Posp.).
   - The ratio of blossom stems and corolla (f. versicolor (Tineo) Fiori et Paol., f. longipedunculatus Borsos).
   - The number of flowers in the inflorescence (f. multiflorus Borsos, f. danubialis Borsos, f. polyanthus Borsos, f. vtacnikensis Borsos).

As Heyn (1970) considered before clarifying the insulating barriers between numerous ecotypes differentiation of geographic races it is hardly possible. In this paper are separated (sub var. ciliatus ampl.) All forms of more or less pronounced indumentum of stems and leaves.
From „Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976)

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Lotus corniculatus is a common flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae, native to grassland in temperate Eurasia and North Africa. Common names include common bird's-foot trefoil[2] and just bird's-foot trefoil,[3] though the common name is often also applied to other members of the genus. It is also known in cultivation in North America as bird's-foot deervetch.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant, similar in appearance to some clovers. The flowers are mostly visited by bumblebees[4] and develop into small pea-like pods or legumes. The name 'bird's foot' refers to the appearance of the seed pods on their stalk. Five leaflets are present, but with the central three held conspicuously above the others, hence the use of the name 'trefoil'. It is often used as forage and is widely used as food for livestock due to its nonbloating properties.


The height of the plant is variable, from 5–20 cm, occasionally more where supported by other plants; the stems can reach up to 50 cm long. It is typically sprawling at the height of the surrounding grassland. It can survive fairly close grazing, trampling, and mowing. It is most often found in sandy soils. It flowers from June to September.
The plant has had many common English names in Britain, which are now mostly out of use. These names were often connected with the yellow and orange colour of the flowers, e.g. 'butter and eggs'. One name that is still used is eggs and bacon (or bacon and eggs).[5]


Old fields and grassy places[6] and roadsides.[7
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: V - IX, fruitful: VII - X.

References: „Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: Grow in the grassy areas around the meadows, pastures, bushes, plains and mountains. Spread from sea level up to about 2300 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, Mediterranean. Transferred to Avstraliya and North America

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: Yes, it is. - Medicinal Plants Act -

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