Scientific name: Lotus corniculatus
Common names: Birdsfoot trefoil, Common lotus, Upright trefoil, Deer vetch
Variety: Soa Gabriel
Seeding rate: 0.6 – 1 g/m² (6 – 10 kg/ha)
Growth cycle: Perennial
Growth season: Cool season
Birdsfoot trefoil is a temperate, short to medium-lived perennial legume used as a palatable pioneer forage in acidic and infertile soils. It has a prostrate to erect growth form with a well-developed crown and a height of 0.3 – 0.9 m. Leaves are pinnate with five leaflets, three of them form the trefoil at the end. It has indeterminate flowers light to bright yellow. The pods (which has a bird’s foot appearance) split as soon as it ripens. It has a deep taproot system with side roots near the soil surface. Birdsfoot trefoil originates from Western Europe and North Africa and is the most important of the four domesticated Lotus spp. for fodder production. It is used for pasture, hay and silage and as an alternative to lucerne in poor soils. It combines well with temperate grasses such as tall fescue and with annual or perennial clover species. It is a cool-season plant, with a moderate to high frost tolerance and a moderate cold tolerance. It requires an annual rainfall of 600 – 1500 mm.