Scotia, about the seaports of Eastern and Middle States. Habitat: Waste places; in a few instances invading fields.
An emigrant from Europe, where it is a widely distributed and very troublesome weed, native to Asia. It has a long, deep-boring root which renders it very resistant to drought, and a spreading habit, of growth which enables it to crowd out all better plants growing with it. It is not considered poisonous, and has even been cultivated as a forage plant in some localities in the South, but grazing animals suffer from bloat and indigestion when they eat very much of it. (Fig. 169.)
Steins many from the same root, slender, hairy, some erect and others prostrate, four inches to two feet long. Leaves sessile or nearly so, pinnately compound, consisting of five small, oblong leaflets, the basal pair appearing like large stipules, the other three like a trefoil at the end of the stalk, or rachis. Flowers numerous, in showy, umbellate heads lifted on slender peduncles three to six inches long; corolla about a half-inch long, bright yellow, or the standard a coppery red. Pods linear, nearly an inch long, each containing several shining, light brown seeds.
Prevent seed development and starve the roots by close and repeated cuttings from the time of flowering until the end of the growing season. Small areas should be hand-pulled or grubbed out while in early bloom.
Fig. 169. - Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus cornicxdatus). X 1/3.