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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous, containing cyanogenic glycosides(hydrogen cyanide)[1][2]. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death. This species is polymorphic for cyanogenic glycosides[3]. The flowers of some forms of the plant contain traces of prussic acid and so the plants can become mildly toxic when flowering[3]. They are completely innocuous when dried[3].

Edible uses

Notes

The young seedpods are 'nibbled'[4]. Caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity.

Seedpod

Material uses

An orange-yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[5]. A useful green manure plant, fixing atmospheric nitrogen[6]. It is difficult to see this plant as a useful green manure, it is fairly slow growing with us and does not produce much bulk[K].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Carminative, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, restorative, vermifuge[7].

The flowers are antispasmodic, cardiotonic and sedative[6]. The root is carminative, febrifuge, restorative and tonic[3].

The plant is used externally as a local anti-inflammatory compress in all cases of skin inflammation[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Green manure


Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in the spring or autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 15°c. If seed is in short supply, it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring or early summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Lotus corniculatus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[8]. Dislikes shade[8]. Does well on poor soils[9].

An important food plant for many caterpillars[10]. It is also a good bee plant[5], the flowers providing an important source of nectar[11]. The flowers are powerfully scented, even though they are able to pollinate themselves[12]. The plant spreads very freely at the roots[13].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[8].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Lotus corniculatus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Lotus corniculatus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Lotus corniculatus
Genus
Lotus
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.2 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  9. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe. Pan ISBN 0-330-26642-x (1982-00-00)
  11. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
  12. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  13. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  14. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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Facts about "Lotus corniculatus"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
Belongs to genusLotus +
Functions asGreen manure + and Nitrogen fixer +
Has common nameBird's Foot Trefoil +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partSeedpod +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile + and Bee +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageGewone rolklaver bloeiwijze (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus).jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +
Has mature height0.3 +
Has mature width0.5 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntiinflammatory +, Antispasmodic +, Cardiotonic +, Carminative +, Febrifuge +, Hypoglycaemic +, Restorative +, Sedative +, Tonic + and Vermifuge +
Has primary imageGewone rolklaver bloeiwijze (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus).jpg +
Has search namelotus corniculatus + and x +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameLotus corniculatus +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +