While driving around northeast Ohio, it seems that this small perennial flower is lining just about every roadway.
Birds-foot Trefoil belongs to the same family as pea and bean plants. Its showy, pea-like flowers are only about a half an inch across.
This plant was introduced from Europe as a cultivated forage crop. It is widely planted for erosion control along newly built roads.
Although its flowers start out as a bright lemon yellow, over time they can turn red-orange with age.
Birds-foot Trefoil common name refers to its seedpods, which when grouped together look like a bird’s foot and are slender and purple. Five leaflets are present, but with the central three held conspicuously above the others, hence the use of the name “trefoil.”
This plant can survive fairly close grazing, trampling, and mowing. Birds-foot Trefoil is most often found in sandy soils. It flowers from June to September and is a source of nectar for several different kinds of butterflies and bees.
This plant is also known as Bloomfell, Cat’s Clover, Crowtoes, Eggs and Bacon and Birdsfoot Deervetch.