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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Broadleaf Weeds > Creeping > Birdsfoot Trefoil

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Birdsfoot Trefoil

Lotus corniculatus L.

  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain

Found in:

  • Lawns (mostly), landscape beds and boulevard areas


  • Low growing (at least in lawn and landscape situations), spreading perennial
  • Oval trifoliate leaves (3 leaflets) arise alternately along stem
  • Bright yellow, pea-like flowers June through fall
  • Spreads by seed, stems and rhizomes (underground stems)
  • Clusters of seed pods look like a bird’s foot


  • Often an indicator plant for low soil nitrogen levels in lawns
  • Tolerates low mowing height, will crowd out lawn grasses
  • Used as a beneficial pasture plant

Plants that look similar:

More information and control options for Birdsfoot Trefoil

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