Bird’s-foot trefoil is a spreading, low-growing plant with lots of pretty yellow flowers from May to September. The name ‘bird’s-foot’ is from the seed pods that start to form in August, with three pods on a stalk, sticking out like bird’s feet. Bird’s-foot trefoil is also known colloquially as ‘eggs and bacon’, ‘butter and eggs’, and ‘hen and chickens’, as the mostly yellow flowers are often tinged with orange and red.
Common bird’s-foot trefoil is in the pea family, with flowers that look
a bit like small slippers. The flowers appear in clusters, turning into the claw-like seed pods. The downy leaves have five small leaflets. Bird’s-foot trefoil is widespread and can be found growing in lawns, meadows, verges and heathlands throughout Britain, although it is uncommon in very acidic soils.
It’s important for common blue, silver-studded blue and wood white butterflies. The adult butterflies lay their eggs on it and the caterpillars depend on bird’s-foot trefoil as a food plant. Bees are also frequent visitors to the nectar filled flowers.