Information on Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil

Common Name: Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil
Scientific Name: Lotus subbiflorus
Irish Name: Crobh éin mosach
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil could sometimes be confused with:

Bird's-foot-trefoil, Common, Bird's-foot-trefoil, Greater,

A rare enough species, this is found growing in a few spots in Counties Wexford and Cork. Hairy Bird’s-foot-trefoil grows in dry coastal places, usually on sandy, neutral to acid, soil. It has yellow peaflowers which are similar to those of Common and Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil but, as its common name might suggest, it is densely hairy. The flowers, in heads of 2-4, are also smaller (5-10mm long) than Common (10-16mm) and Greater (10-18mm) and they have stalks which are longer than its leaves. The calyx teeth are longer than the tube. The leaflets are narrow-oval and they are also extremely hairy. The seedpods are from 6-12mm long. This is a native annual which grows to about 30cm and it flowers from June to September. It belongs to the Pea or Fabaceae family. 

I saw and photographed this species in Co Wexford while out on a trip with BSBI’s Joint Vice-county Recorder for County Wexford, Paula O’Meara. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Bird's-foot-trefoil, Hairy
Bird's-foot-trefoil, Hairy