Lotus Corniculatus Facts
- Firstly, the delicate yet beautiful Lotus Corniculatus represents an extremely unusual small flowering plant. Believe it or not, the stunning species actually constitutes a member of the pea family.
- However, you do not want to eat it, regardless of its remarkable visual appeal. That’s due to the fact that this little beauty actually contains naturally occurring trace amounts of the deadly chemical cyanide.
- In extremely small amounts, however, this beautiful and remarkable species does have some medicinal uses.
- Rather surprisingly, the gorgeous Lotus Corniculatus also actually gets widely used as a source of forage for livestock.
- The majority of livestock, fortunately for them, can eat it safely. The animals have a much greater natural tolerance for small concentrations of cyanide than homo sapiens.
Lotus Corniculatus Physical Description
Most notably, though seemingly rather delicate, the Lotus Corniculatus surprises most people. That occurs due to the fact that it actually remains a surprisingly hardy perennial species.
This herbaceous plant also only achieves a maximum known height of about 8 in (20 cm) unless supported by other plants. It grows in a sprawling manner along the ground.
In addition, its small flowers display combinations of orange and yellow color. The seeds (not surprisingly since it is part of the pea family) develop in small, elongated pods.
Furthermore, the leaves of the plant grow in groups of five. Typically, three of these form a trefoil pattern over the other two.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Genus: Lotus
- Species: L. corniculatus
Lotus Corniculatus Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, the Lotus Corniculatus remains endemic to a wide swathe of Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. Within that range, the plant also predominantly appears in regions of grasslands.
It also has extreme durability, even to the point of surviving being trampled by livestock. In addition, this species grows equally well in both nutrient-rich soils and nutrient-poor soils.
Further, it most commonly grows in areas of grassland with a high percentage of sand. Farmers often use it in cultivation, especially in Europe.
Finally, as a result of this practice, it has become considered an invasive species in some portions of Australia and North America.