Bird's Foot Trefoil - Prairie Meadow Flower (Lotus corniculatus) Eggs and Bacon Prairie Meadowflower Flower

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Birds Foot Trefoil


Height 12 to 24 in

Bird's Foot Trefoil is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae, and is native to grasslands located in temperate Eurasia and North Africa, and is typically found in mass plantings in prairies and typically added to wild meadow mixes. Common names include common bird's-foot trefoil, eggs and bacon, birdsfoot deer vetch, and just bird's-foot trefoil, though the latter name is often also applied to other members of the genus.

A gorgeous orange-yellow dye is obtained from the red and yellow flowers. A useful green manure plant, use to fix atmospheric nitrogen -  fairly slow growing with us and does not produce much bulk. Bird's-foot-trefoil is toxic to humans when eaten although it has some alternative, beneficial properties, and has been used traditionally (externally) as an anti-inflammatory compress to relieve inflamed skin. The flowers are antispasmodic, cardiotonic and sedative. The root is carminative, febrifuge, restorative and tonic.  We recommend Bird's Foot Trefoil as a low profile meadow flower; Bees adore it.

  • Trefoil is no more difficult to establish than other forages, and it requires a different technique-during the seedling period (first 60 to 90 days of life), it is less aggressive than most plants, so competition from other plants must be controlled.
  • Trefoil may also be seeded in late winter, early spring or fall.
  • Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in the spring or autumn in situ.
  • Germinates: usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 15C.
  • OR start seeds indoors in pots; when they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring or early summer.
  • Seed Count: 30