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Useful Temperate Plants

Trifolium ornithopodioides

(L.) Sm.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Trifolium melilotus-ornithopodi (L.) Asch. & Graebn.

Common Name: Birdsfoot Fenugreek

No Image.

General Information

Trifolium ornithopodioides is an annual to short-lived perennial plant that can grow 2 - 20cm tall[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

Eating this plant can cause bloat, especially if larger quantities are consumed[
1151
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Government Printing Office; Washington
Year
1900
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal. Rather dated, but it includes an ethnobotanical report from California and an early monograph of N. American Apiaceae. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Southern and western Europe - Britain to Denmark, south to Portugal, Macedonia and Romania; N. Africa - Morocco, Algeria

Habitat

Dry sandy and gravelly places in southern England, mainly near the coast[
5
Title
Food for Free.
Publication
 
Author
Mabey. R.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1974
ISBN
0-00-219060-5
Description
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
,
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.15 m
PollinatorsBees
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in a moist, well-drained circum-neutral soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. In the wild plants are found in open habitats that are moist or wet in winter[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
]. Plants are also likely to be resistant to maritime exposure. Succeeds in poor soils.
It grows well in an apple orchard, the trees will produce tastier fruit that stores better[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. It should not be grown with camellias or gooseberries because it harbours a mite that can cause fruit drop in the gooseberries and premature budding in the camellias[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Buttercups growing nearby depress the growth of the nitrogen bacteria by means of a root exudate[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
5
Title
Food for Free.
Publication
 
Author
Mabey. R.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1974
ISBN
0-00-219060-5
Description
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
]. The dried leaves are coumarin-scented and have been suggested as a substitute for fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ.
If the seed is in short supply it might be better to sow it in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring.
Division in spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-07-26. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Trifolium+ornithopodioides>

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