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Birdsfoot Clover

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

A prostrate plant growing on bare, sandy places usually near the sea.



  • Birdsfoot Clover: a parking find

    Post date: Monday, 13 February, 2017 - 21:11

    This is a flower I never new existed until I bought a book of wildlife walks in Dorset which describes several walks and provides a species list for each. Looking at the walk at Abbotsbury I saw, along with four other species I had never seen, the birdsfoot clover (Trifolium ornithopodiodes). Not surprisingly, perhaps, at the first opportunity I was there looking for it!

    Birdsfoot clover is a low, prostrate plant sprawling across the ground; It likes dry, bare, sandy places that are wet in winter yet parched in summer. Usually found near the sea, mainly along the southern coasts of England and in to Wales, it has a particular fondness for car parking areas (obviously not tar-maced ones!). I do not think it is common anywhere. There are two forms, white and pink, and my specimen was going over when I found it but I think it was probably the white variant. It flowers in June and July and then goes to seed with the seed heads vaguely resembling bird's feet so hence the name. It is also known as fenugreek.

    The leaves are edible but you would need a lot of hem to make a meal! It does not seem to be of particular interest as a herbal remedy for anything.



Common Name Birdsfoot Clover
Scientific Name Trifolium ornithopodiodes
Species Group Pea Family Fabaceae
Interest Level
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Identification Notes
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Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Pea Family Fabaceae