The Birdsfoot Trefoil walks again

A few weeks ago I reported finding a tiny cluster of Birdsfoot Trefoil (lotus corniculatus) in a former boggy area on the west side below the wooded ridge.  No sooner did that appear on this website than park management sent its mowers and razed the whole area within a few inches of the ground.  Adios birdsfoot trefoil, I thought.  But a month later, a sizeable patch of them bloomed to the west of the paved walkway a bit north of the old boggy area.   They made a lovely mass of yellow.  You can read more about their qualities in my earlier post.

Why do you suppose they got named after a bird’s foot?  Could it be the thin reddish lines on the broad yellow lobes, that look a bit like a bird’s twiggy foot?  (See detail photo.)  Not a duck’s foot, to be sure, but a song bird’s.  However, sources with extensive knowledge of the plant suggest that the name comes from the bean-like fruiting body, as in this black-and-white drawing:birdsfoot drawing

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