Home   Dr M weekend plant mini-quiz   Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #1 – and the cute little legume is…

Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #1 – and the cute little legume is…

Well you have had some time to ponder this little fellow, and so now here is the answer:

Ornithopus perpusillus (Bird’s-foot).

This cute little legume is a prostrate hairy annual with stems up to about 30cm long and leaves pinnate with 4-12 pairs of leaflets.

Flowers are small creamy and red veined in small heads of 2-6 together with a pinnate bract below the flower head.

Pods are constricted into 1-seeded joints, and curved and spreading like a bird’s foot (hence the vernacular name!).

It’s not uncommon in suitable habitats such as dry sandy grasslands and dunes and it flowers May to August.

Grows well in Dr M’s garden where he has created a sandy area by digging a hole in the lawn and back-filling it with sand! Fortunately the local cats have not found it yet!

It’s an annual plant and so it won’t persist unless areas are kept bare year on year and Dr M sprinkles the ripe seed pods around to help it into its next year!



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