Bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus, copyright Robert Flogaus-Faust.

Belongs within: Hologalegina.

Lotus is a genus of leguminous herbs and shrubs often with 5-foliolate leaves and yellow flowers.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual, perennial, or shrub, unarmed. Leaves generally odd-1-pinnate (sometimes more or less palmately compound, rarely some or most simple); stipules conspicuous or not; leaflets 3–many, often irregularly arranged. Inflorescence an umbel or one- or two-flowered, axillary, generally peduncled, often bracted. Corolla generally yellow (sometimes white or pink), fading darker; 9 filaments fused, 1 free. Fruit dehiscent or not, exserted from calyx or not, ovoid to oblong, more or less beaked. Seeds 1—several.

    |--L. aboriginus [=L. aboriginum (l. c.)] H93
    |--L. angustissimus GK00
    |--L. argophyllus H93
    |    |--L. a. var. argophyllus [incl. L. argophyllus var. decorus] H93
    |    |--L. a. var. adsurgens H93
    |    |--L. a. var. argenteus [incl. L. argophyllus var. ornithopus] H93
    |    |--L. a. var. fremontii H93
    |    `--L. a. var. niveus H93
    |--L. argyraeus H93
    |    |--L. a. var. argyraeus H93
    |    |--L. a. var. multicaulis H93
    |    `--L. a. var. notitius H93
    |--L. australis P09
    |--L. benthamii H93
    |--L. conimbricensis Y98
    |--L. corniculatus BB99
    |--L. crassifolius H93
    |    |--L. c. var. crassifolius H93
    |    `--L. c. var. otayensis H93
    |--L. creticus A-GF98
    |--L. cruentus KM08
    |--L. cytisoides PT98
    |--L. dendroideus H93
    |    |--L. d. var. dendroideus [=L. scoparius var. dendroideus] H93
    |    |--L. d. var. traskiae [=L. scoparius var. traskiae] H93
    |    `--L. d. var. veatchii [=L. scoparius var. veatchii] H93
    |--L. denticulatus H93
    |--L. formosissimus H93
    |--L. grandiflorus H93
    |    |--L. g. var. grandiflorus H93
    |    `--L. g. var. macranthus H93
    |--L. hamatus H93
    |--L. haydonii H93
    |--L. heermannii H93
    |    |--L. h. var. heermannii H93
    |    `--L. h. var. orbicularis [incl. L. heermannii var. eriophorus] H93
    |--L. humistratus PB83
    |--L. incanus [incl. L. neo-incanus] H93
    |--L. japonicus MM03
    |--L. junceus H93
    |    |--L. j. var. junceus H93
    |    `--L. j. var. biolettii H93
    |--L. micranthus H93
    |--L. nevadensis H93
    |    |--L. n. var. nevadensis [incl. L. douglasii] H93
    |    `--L. n. var. davidsonii H93
    |--L. nuttallianus H93
    |--L. oblongifolius H93
    |    |--L. o. var. oblongifolius [incl. L. oblongifolius var. nevadensis non L. nevadensis] H93
    |    `--L. o. var. cupreus H93
    |--L. peregrinus
    |--L. pinnatus H93
    |--L. procumbens H93
    |    |--L. p. var. procumbens H93
    |    `--L. p. var. jepsonii H93
    |--L. purshianus [incl. L. purshianus var. glaber] H93
    |--L. rigidus H93
    |--L. rubriflorus H93
    |--L. salsuginosus H93
    |    |--L. s. var. salsuginosus H93
    |    `--L. s. var. brevivexillus H93
    |--L. scoparius H93
    |    |--L. s. var. scoparius H93
    |    `--L. s. var. brevialatus H93
    |--L. stipularis H93
    |    |--L. s. var. stipularis H93
    |    `--L. s. var. ottleyi H93
    |--L. strigosus [incl. L. strigosus var. hirtellus. L. tomentellus] H93
    |--L. suaveolens GK00
    |--L. tenuis H93
    |--L. uliginosus [incl. L. major, L. pedunculatus] BB99
    |--L. wrangelianus H93
    `--L. yollabolliensis H93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A-GF98] Abd El-Ghani, M. M., & A. G. Fahmy. 1998. Composition of and changes in the spontaneous flora of Feiran Oasis, S Sinai, Egypt, in the last 60 years. Willdenowia 28: 123–134.

[BB99] Blumenthal, M. J., A. M. Bowman, A. Cole, R. M. Jones, W. M. Kelman, T. E. Launders & H. I. Nicol. 1999. Establishment, growth and persistence of greater lotus (Lotus uliginosus) at six sites in eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 39: 819–827.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[MM03] Madsen, E. B., L. H. Madsen, S. Radutoiu, M. Olbryt, M. Rakwalska, K. Szczyglowski, S. Sato, T. Kaneko, S. Tabata, N. Sandal & J. Stougaard. 2003. A receptor kinase gene of the LysM type is involved in legume perception of rhizobial signals. Nature 425: 637–640.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[P09] Petrie, J. M. 1909. The rĂ´le of nitrogen and its compounds in plant-metabolism. Part I.—Historical. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33: 801–834.

[PB83] Price, M. V., & J. H. Brown. 1983. Patterns of morphology and resource use in North American desert rodent communities. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 7: 117–134.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

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