This group includes the Trefoils and Lotus plants. They are closely related to the clovers, medics and lucerne.
Lotus species are sprawling herbs with their leaves divided into 5, often hairy, leaflets. Three of the leaflets are towards the tip of the leaf and the remaining two at the base and often somewhat stem clasping. There are small stalked clusters of flowers. The flowers are yellow to orange and 4-15 mm long. The seed pods are narrow and cylindric.
They are native to Europe and have become weeds along roadsides, in damp pastures and particularly along creeklines. They flower in spring and summer.
There are three common species:
Slender Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus angustissimus) has small flowers 4-7 mm long and long seed pods that are 2-3 cm long.
Hairy Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus suaveolens) has slightly larger flowers 6-9 mm long and shorter seed pods that are 0.5-1.5 cm long.
Greater Lotus (Lotus uliginosus) has larger clusters (up to 15 flowers) of larger flowers, each 9-15 mm long, and the seed pods are 1.5-3.5 cm long.
Specific information can be found under:
Acknowledgments:Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.