Lotus corniculatus

 

Lotus corniculatus

 

Gazalboynuzu
 
 
Glabrous to pubescent perennial, decumbent, ascending or erect, not stoloniferous, stems up to 50 cm, solid. Leaflets from narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, oblanceolate or obovate, without evident lateral veins, varying in size. Umbels 1-7-flowered, on peduncles much longer than subtending leaves. Bracts usually 3, narrow and short, about as long as calyx. Flowers 9-13 mm. Calyx subcampanulate. with teeth c. 1-1½ x tube. Corolla about 2 x calyx, yellow to golden-yellow, often turning green on drying, sometimes red; standard longer than keel and wings, often red-veined: keel strongly arched, with fairly long beak, slightly longer than wings. Legume 15-30 x 1.5-2 mm, straight, terete. 2/7 = 12, 24. Fl. 5-8.
The almost impossible task of the division of the L. corniculatus complex has been pointed out repeatedly. Many botanists have subdivided it into a large number of species which differ only very little from one another. Here L. corniculatus is treated as a polymorphic species comprising a spectrum of different forms that can be provisionally grouped under three varieties, connected by intermediates. All three varieties occur in the Euro-Siberian, Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian regions, but usually grow in different habitats.
1.Upper leaflets obovate, obtuse or apiculate; umbels 2-7-flowered; flowers 8-15 mm; stems sturdy
  2. Stems up to 20 cm; leaflets small, not exceeding 7 x 3 mm, usually ± densely hairy; umbels 2-4-flowered; flowers 8-11 mm var. alpinus
  2. Stems more than 20 cm; leaflets larger, usually sparsely hairy or subglabrous; umbels usually 4-7-flowered; flowers 10-15 mm var. corniculatus
1.Upper leaflets narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, often subacuminate; umbels 1-3-flowered; flowers 7-10 mm; stems slender var. tenuifolius
Distribution of species: Europe, N. Africa, W. & C. Asia.
 
 
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