What is the plant
Ornithopus perpusillus or little white bird's-foot, is a plant species of the genus Ornithopus.
This rare species is a most attractive little plant. It is to be found on bare, dry, sandy soil, especially near to the sea. It is procumbent, barely reaching 40cm tall. Perhaps you can first spot it by seeing the pretty rosettes of pinnate leaves.
The flowers are extremely small, only 3-5mm long, and they are grouped together in heads, anything from 3 to 6 per head, with a pinnate bract below the flowerhead. The upper petal or standard is pale pink with red veins, the two outer petals or wings are white and the lower two petals which, as in all peaflowers, are fused together into a keel, is a deep golden colour. The plant is downy throughout. The seedpods spread like the bird’s foot for which the species is named, 2 or 3 together. They are also downy and have several sections, each section having one seed. This species flowers from May to August, is mainly found in the south-east of Ireland is a native and it belongs to the Peaflower or Fabaceae family.
Hairy, annual, with extended stems up to 30 cm, and leaves with 7-13 pairs of small, elliptical to oblong leaflets. White or pink flowers, 3-5 mm, in heads of 3-8 flowers, and with bracts under the heads that are longer than the flowers and with 5-9 lobes. Calyx teeth no more than half the length of the tube. Sheath 1-1.8 cm, constricted between segments, and with a straight or hooked bill. It blooms from spring to fall.
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of:
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