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

Lotus unifoliolatus (Hook.) Benth.
Bird's-foot Trefoil (American bird's-foot trefoil; Small-flowered Birds-foot Trefoil; Spanish-clover)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25614)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lotus unifoliolatus
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Annual herb from a taproot, finely soft-hairy throughout; stems 1 to several, decumbent to erect, 10-60 cm long/tall.
Alternate, nearly unstalked, pinnately compound; leaflets mostly 3, lanceolate to elliptic, 6-25 mm long; stipules gland-like.
Inflorescence of single pea-like flowers on stalks from the leaf axils, the stalks 5-30 mm long, with a small simple bract just below the flower; corollas pale yellow tinged with pink, 4-9 mm long; calyces 3-6 mm long, the awl-shaped teeth longer than the tube.
Pods, 1.5-3.5 cm long, slightly constricted between the seeds, glabrous, spreading or drooping; seeds 4 to 8, slightly flattened, brownish, black-mottled.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows, clearings and roadsides in the lowland and montane zones; rare in SW and SC BC; S to MN, MO, MT, CA and N MX.

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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References