Taxon: Lotus corniculatus L.

Genus: Lotus
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Loteae
Nomen number: 300317
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:775. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 04-Aug-1986 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 02-Oct-2017
Species priority site is: Western Regional PI Station (W6)
Accessions: 497 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Bee plants: honey production (fide Dict Gard; Leg NEurasia)
  • Environmental: soil improver (fide Cover Crop Database)
  • Animal food: fodder (fide Crops US; Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Gene sources: primary genetic relative of bird's-foot trefoil (based on some successful crosses depending on ploidy level fide Can J Bot 73:1795. 1995)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide Kingsbury; Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Weed: (fide Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya ; Tanzania
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia ; Sudan
    • Northern Africa: Algeria ; Morocco ; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia ; Azerbaijan ; Georgia ; Russian Federation Dagestan; Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia Ciscaucasia
    • China: China
    • Eastern Asia: Japan ; Korea ; Taiwan
    • Middle Asia: Kazakhstan ; Tajikistan ; Turkmenistan
    • Mongolia: Mongolia
    • Russian Far East: Russian Federation Primorye
    • Siberia: Russian Federation-Western Siberia Western Siberia
    • Western Asia: Afghanistan ; Cyprus ; Iran ; Iraq ; Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India ; Nepal ; Pakistan
  • Europe

    • Eastern Europe: Belarus ; Estonia ; Latvia ; Lithuania ; Moldova ; Russian Federation-European part European part; Ukraine
    • Middle Europe: Austria ; Belgium ; Czechoslovakia ; Germany ; Hungary ; Netherlands ; Poland ; Switzerland
    • Northern Europe: Denmark ; Finland ; Ireland ; Norway ; Sweden ; United Kingdom
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania ; Bulgaria ; Former Yugoslavia ; Greece ; Romania
    • Southwestern Europe: France ; Spain

  • Naturalized

  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
    • New Zealand: New Zealand
  • Northern America

    • Canada ; United States
  • Southern America

    • South America

  • Cultivated


  • Afonin, A. N., S. L. Greene, N. I. Dzyubenko, & A. N. Frolov, eds. Interactive agricultural ecological atlas of Russia and neighboring countries. Economic plants and their diseases, pests and weeds (on-line resource). (AgroAtlas)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. Flora of Libya. (F Libya)
  • Botanical Society of the British Isles BSBI taxon database (on-line resource). (BSBI)
  • Chrtková-Žertová, A. 1973. A monographic study of Lotus corniculatus L. I. Central and northern Europe Rozpr. Ceskoslov. Akad. Ved. 83:1-94.
  • Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. 1998 (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. (F Turk)
  • Englert, J. M. et al. USDA-NRCS Improved conservation plant materials released by NRCS and cooperators. 1999- (NRCS Cons Pl Mat)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Grant, W. F. 1995. A chromosome atlas and interspecific - intergenic index for Lotus and Tetragonolobus (Fabaceae) Canad. J. Bot. 73:1787-1809.
  • Grant, W. F. & E. Small 1996. The origin of the Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) complex: a synthesis of diverse evidence Canad. J. Bot. 74:975-989.
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. (L Medit)
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11. (L Aust)
  • Huang, S. F. & T. C. Huang Taxonomic treatment of the Papilionoideae (Leguminosae) of Taiwan. Taiwania 32:11-117. 1987 (Leg Taiwan)
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Inst. Bot. V. L. Komarova, Acad. Sci. URSS Plantae asiae centralis. (F CAsia)
  • International Seed Testing Association A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2. (Mult Glossary Crops)
  • Iwatsuki, K. et al. Flora of Japan. (F Japan)
  • Jahandiez, E. & R. Maire Catalogue des plantes du Maroc. (L Maroc)
  • Jones, D. A. & R. Turkington 1986. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 163. Lotus corniculatus L. J. Ecol. 74:1185-1212.
  • Kingsbury, J. M. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. (Kingsbury)
  • Kirkbride, J. H., Jr. 1999. Lotus systematics and distribution Special Publ. Crop Sci. Soc. Amer. 28:9.
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. (F USSR)
  • Lassen, P. 1987. Lotus. In: W. Greuter & T. Raus (eds.), Med-Checklist notulae, 14 (Willdenowia) 16:443.
  • Magness, J. R. et al. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1. 1971 (Crops US)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • Meikle, R. D. Flora of Cyprus. (F Cyprus)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Quézel, P. & S. Santa Nouvelle flore de l'Algerie. (F Alger)
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. Flora iranica. (F Iran)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Small, E. et al. 1984. A taxonomic study of the Lotus corniculatus complex in Turkey Canad. J. Bot. 62:1044-53.
  • Täckholm, V. Students' flora of Egypt, ed. 2. (SF Egypt)
  • Thulin, M. Leguminosae of Ethiopia. Opera Bot. 68:1-223. 1983 (Leg Ethiop)
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest Flora of Iraq. (F Iraq)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. (F TE Afr)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. (F Eur)
  • University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program UC SAREP on-line cover crop database (on-line resource). (Cover Crop Database)
  • Weber, E. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. 2003 (Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). (F ChinaEng)
  • Yakovlev, G. P. et al. Legumes of Northern Eurasia. 1996 (Leg NEurasia)
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan Flora palaestina. (F Palest)


Check other web resources for Lotus corniculatus L. :


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image