E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lotus formosissimus Greene
seaside birds-foot trefoil (seaside bird's-foot trefoil; seaside lotus)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10687)

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Distribution of Lotus formosissimus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stolon or rhizome; stems sprawling or ascending, 20-50 cm long, glabrous.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets usually 5, opposite, elliptic to egg-shaped, 6-20 mm long; stipules large, triangular, membranous.
Inflorescence a compact, long-stalked, axillary umbel of 3 to 9 pea-like flowers, the umbel-stalks with a generally 3-parted bract just below the umbel; corollas with yellow banner, pink-purple wings and purple-tipped keel; calyces 5-6 mm long, the teeth slightly shorter than the tube, the upper 2 joined for about 1/2 their length.
Pods, linear-oblong, 2-3 cm long; seeds few.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist open sites in the lowland zone; rare on SE Vancouver Island and adjacent islands; S to C CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hosackia gracilis Benth.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References