Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Similar in appearance to some clovers, birdsfoot trefoil is a long-lived tap rooted legume utilised mainly for its bloat prevention effect on livestock. The tannins and other compounds in the plant not only reduce bloating in animals but also have anthelmintic properties and help aid the digestion of protein. This makes trefoil indispensable in herbal leys and diverse pastures which are most effective at enhancing livestock health
- Can grow on very poor soil with drainage problems or a low soil pH.
- Benefits the surrounding plants because of its nitrogen fixing properties.
- It is winter-hardy and tolerant of dry summer conditions if soil depth provides available moisture.
- Salt tolerant.
- A non-bloating legume quite suitable for sheep or cattle but not typically used for horse pasture because of the presence of tannins.
- It is not tolerant of early spring grazing or continuous grazing and establishes slowly and with some difficulty, but is vigorous once established.
- Flowers provide a vital nectar source to long tongued species of moth, butterfly and bumble bee.
Growing Birdsfoot TrefoilSeeding Rate: Agriculture - 8-10 kg/acre 20-25 kg/ha Horticulture - 1kg covers 200-400m²Sowing: April to August. Seed is small so should be broadcast or shallow drilled. The ground should be rolled afterwards to get good soil contact with seed.Persistence: Perennial. 2-4 years. Frost hardy and somewhat drought resistant.Soil Preference: Can tolerate poor and wet soil well.