Lotus angustissimus L.- Slender Bird.s-foot-trefoil.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Lotus L.
We treat the taxonomic content of the species in the volume as accepted by Cherepanov (1995); i.e. excluding L. angustissimus L. var. proetermissus (Kuprian.) Wissjul., the latter being accepted as a separate species L. proetermissus Kuprian., with its own geographical range, limited by steppe habitats instead of mountain ones.

Morphology and biology.

Annual or biennial plant 7-20 cm tall. Root 2-3 mm thick. Stems prostrate, less often ascending, fulvous and glabrous at base, in upper part covered with long patent and short soft curly hairs. Lowermost pair of leaflets situated close to stem (acting as stipules), these leaflets ovate, oblique (asymmetrical), acuminate. Three upper leaflets obovate or lanceolate, acuminate, on both surfaces covered with adpressed hairs. Pedicels slender, 2.5-4 cm long. Flowers arranged by 2-3 in axil of upper ternate leaf, bracts small, in a form of yellow-fulvous tubercles. Flowers light yellow, 6-8 mm long. Calyx 5 mm long, with linear-lanceolate acute teeth, covered with adpressed hairs. Calyx teeth 1.5 times as long as tube. Standard rounded, cuneately narrowed toward base, 6-7 mm long, 3-4 mm wide. Keel 6 mm long. Pods long, thin, 20-40 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide. Seeds orange-brown. Flowers in June, fruits in July - August. Entomophilous. Zoochore. 2n=12.


General distribution: Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Iran, Balkans, Asia Minor. Former USSR: European part - Crimea; Caucasus - West and East Transcaucasia.


In wet meadows and forest glades, among shrubberies, up to lower montane zone.

Use and economic value.

High-protein forage plant (grazing). Green manure.


Wulf EV., Maleyeva OF. 1969. The world resources of useful plants (food, forage, technical, medicine, etc.). Reference book. Leningrad: Nauka. P.118. (In Russian).
Dobrochaeva DN., Kotov MI., Prokudin YuN. 1987. Manual of higher plants of Ukraine. Kiev: Naukova Dumka. P.333. (In Russian).
Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. Leningrad: Nauka. P.108. (In Russian).
Shishkin BK., ed. 1945. Flora URSS. V.11. P.513. (In Russian).
Cherepanov SK. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). St.Petersburg. 990 p. (In Russian).

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