• Wildlife Friendly Otley

BIRDS-FOOT TREFOIL


You can see this tough member of the pea family along the old railway track to the east of town, but it’s generally quite common. It’s called Bird’s-Foot because of the shape of the seed pods; the Trefoil part refers to the three central leaflets that are prominent above the others. Another name is “Eggs & Bacon”, based on the red and yellow colouring seen as the flowers are opening, and another “Granny’s Toenails”. A fantastic source of nectar for insects, the plant is also used by farmers as quality pasture, hay and silage. Amongst several herbal uses, the flowers are used as a sedative. It can prevent soil erosion, and is planted along roadsides to achieve this effect.

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