This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This plant is found in dry pastures, on rocky soils, meadows, and on banks of railways, streams, etc. As the name implies, the hairy stem is zigzag, the leaflets are oblong, blunt, with lance-shaped stipules or leaflike organs, and the leaf margins are fringed with hairs. The flower-heads are brighter red than in the Red Clover, larger, terminal, stalked. The calyx is quite smooth, with bristle-like teeth. The pods open lengthwise. It is from 1 ft. to 18 in. in height, and flowers from June to September, and is perennial.
The habitat of this plant is varied. It occurs by the roadside close to the macadam, on commons, and along sandy seashores, as well as in dry pastures and meadows, and in ditches and wet places. The habit is prostrate, with smooth creeping stems, with inversely egg-shaped leaflets, with small coarse teeth, triangular, oblong stipules or leaflike organs, with a long point. The flowers are numerous, rose-coloured, in dense heads, stalked, in the axils, and rounded. The involucre or whorl of leaflike organs is multifid, and equals the calyx, in which, after flowering, two lobes become enlarged and enclose the pod. The plant is 6 in. to 1 ft. or less in height, and flowers late, in July and August, being perennial.
The habitat of this plant is pastures, roadsides, and dry places. The habit is prostrate or ascending. The stem is wiry, straggling, slender. The leaflets are blunt, narrow, inversely egg-shaped or heart-shaped, the middle one stalked. The stipules are egg-shaped, not as long as the leaf-stalks, the upper part with a long, narrow point. The flowers are small, pale yellow, turning brown, bent back at length, in a dense head of 4-20 on long, slender, axillary, straight stalks, the ultimate stalks short. The standard is narrow, folded, blunt, furrowed, covering the pod. The style is shorter than the pod. The calyx is bell-shaped, with triangular teeth, short, the lower longer, lance-shaped. The pod is inversely egg-shaped. The plant is 6-18 in. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is fields, on banks, hedges, and woods, and originally it was doubtless a woodland plant. The habit is prostrate, or zigzag, and the stems are smooth, stout, with oblong, blunt leaflets, smooth above, hairy beneath, with egg-shaped to lance-shaped stipules or leaflike organs. The flowers are dingy yellow, in compact egg-shaped racemes, on peduncles or flower-stalks shorter than the leaves. The smooth, upright linear pods (1 1/2 in. long) are bent inwards. The calyx is bell-shaped, half as long as the corolla. The plant is 2-3 ft. in height. It flowers between June and September, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is meadows and pastures, which are usually moist, and damp woods or marshy tracts. The plant is erect in habit or ascending, bearing underground shoots, or may be prostrate. The stems are smooth or hairy as a rule, with inversely egg-shaped leaflets. In bud the teeth of the calyx are spreading, in the common one erect. The flowers are large, golden yellow, and the heads 8-12-flowered, the two upper teeth of the calyx spreading, in the common one (Lotus corniculatus) meeting. The standard has a linear claw or stalk. The plant is 6 in. to 2 ft. or more in height. It flowers in July and August, like other moisture-loving plants, rather late. The plant is perennial, herbaceous.