Birds-Foot Trefoil [Lotus corniculatus]

Birds-foot Trefoil Birds-foot Trefoil
General Information: Birds-foot trefoil like Lesser trefoil is a perennial lawn weed and is also a member of the clover family. It can be a major problem on UK lawns as it forms large patches and it has a deep root system. It spreads by both stolons (over ground runners) and rhizomes (underground runners).

Leaf: Birds-Foot Trefoil has 3 leaflets on a short stalk with two more leaflets at the base of the stalk. The stalks are capable of reaching over 40cm in length if allowed to grow.

Flower: The flowers of Birds-Foot Trefoil resemble those of the Honeysuckle and can be seen from late April until late September. They are yellow in colour, they often have a thin red streak.

Preferred habitat: Birds-Foot Trefoil can tolerate a wide variety of soil types but prefers non acidic, dry soils.

Control: Hand weeding may be practical for a few plants, however be very thorough taking care that you remove all of the roots below and foliage above the ground.

For a large infestation a selective herbicide will have to be used for effective control. Use a selective weed killer from the list shown below, in most cases a further treatment may be neccessary to effctively control Birds-Foot Trefoil.

Please click to enlarge the Birds-foot Trefoil image

Recommended selective weed killers for amateur gardeners for the control of Birds-foot Trefoil in lawns and turf.

  • Verdone Extra (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & MCPA).
  • Westland lawn weed killer (2,4-D, mecoprop-p & dichlorprop-p).
  • Vitax lawn clear (fluroxypyr & mecoprop-p)
  • Doff lawn spot weeder (2,4-D, mecoprop-p & dichlorprop-p).

Recommended selective weed killers for lawn and turf care professionals for the control of Birds-foot Trefoil in lawns and turf.

  • Scotts Praxys (fluroxypyr, clopyralid & florasulam).
  • Headland Cabadex (florasulam & fluroxypyr).
  • Mascot Super Selective (mecoprop-p, MCPA & dicamba).

Like all chemicals used on the lawn and around the garden it is very important to follow the manufacturers guidelines and health and safety precautions. Please visit out weed control section for more information on the application of weed killers.

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