1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Lotus L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Old World.

    [FTEA]

    Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

    Habit
    Herbs or softly woody shrublets
    Leaves
    Leaves epulvinate; stipules, if present, usually reduced to dark glands; stipels absent; leaflets entire, sometimes 3 or 4 but usually 5, with the lower pair at the base of the short rhachis resembling stipules
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence an axillary pedunculate (or, outside the Flora area, sessile) umbel with a 1–3-foliolate bract, rarely, outside the Flora area, flowers solitary in the leaf-axils
    Calyx
    Calyx tubular, subequally 5-toothed or, outside the Flora area, the lowest tooth longest or, rarely, the teeth in 2 lips
    Corolla
    Petals glabrous, free from the stamens; standard oblong-obovate, at the base wedge-shaped with infolded thickened margins; wings oblong, auriculate, more or less pouched, clawed; keel as long as the wings, curved, pointed or beaked, pouched at the sides, its claws free
    Stamens
    Vexillary stamen free, the other 9 united, 5 of them with longer filaments always widened at the tip, the other 4 with shorter filaments sometimes widened; anthers all alike
    Pistil
    Ovary sessile or shortly stipitate, in the Flora area glabrous, subcylindrical, multi-ovulate; style bent abruptly upwards at the base, glabrous, cylindrical except at the base, rigid, rather persistent
    Fruits
    Pod straight, oblong or linear, usually cylindrical, usually septate within, dehiscent into 2 valves which usually become twisted
    Seeds
    Seeds subglobular or lens-shaped, not conspicuously arillate; hilum minute.
    [FZ]

    Leguminosae, various authors. Flora Zambesiaca 3:7. 2003

    Habit
    Annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs or dwarf shrubs.
    Leaves
    Leaves sessile or with a very short petiole, usually with 5, rarely with 3–4, leaflets (or elsewhere occasionally more); leaflets petiolulate, the lower pair at the base of the rhachis and resembling stipules; stipules reduced to dark glands, sometimes inconspicuous, or absent; stipels absent.
    Flowers
    Flowers in axillary usually pedunculate umbels with a 1–3-foliolate foliage leaf, rarely umbels reduced to one flower and resembling solitary flowers.
    Calyx
    Calyx tubular or narrowly campanulate, subequally 5-toothed or the lowest tooth longest or the teeth in 2 lips.
    Corolla
    Corolla yellow, pink, cream or white, glabrous or rarely (in Macaronesia and Morocco) the standard and (very rarely) also the wings pubescent, free from the stamens; standard ± oblong-obovate, wedge-shaped at the base with infolded thickened margins; wings clawed, the blade oblong, auriculate, laterally pouched; keel curved, pointed or beaked with free claws.
    Stamens
    Vexillary stamen free, the other 9 with the filaments united into a sheath; free parts of at least the 5 longer filaments widened at the tip.
    Pistil
    Ovary sessile or shortly stipitate, glabrous (outside the Flora Zambesiaca area sometimes strigulose or hairy), subcylindrical, multi-ovulate; style bent upwards at the base, glabrous, but papillose, rigid.
    Fruits
    Pod usually cylindrical, straight, linear, usually septate within, dehiscent into 2 valves (except in L. benoistii, from Morocco, with an indehiscent fruit, and in the Mediterranean L. edulis with the fruit dehiscent ventrally), the valves often becoming twisted.
    Seeds
    Seeds ellipsoid, subreniform or subglobular, with a small, median hilum.
    [LOWO]

    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

    Note

    The Loteae have been usually considered as the closest relatives of other temperate tribes, especially of the astragaloid part of Galegeae (e.g., Polhill, 1981k: 371–374), and the monospecific genus Podolotus was either allied with Lotus, or merged with Astragalus. Recent molecular data, however, have revealed that Galegeae, Cicereae, Hedysareae, Trifolieae, Fabeae and Millettieae (in small part) lack the chloroplast-DNA inverted repeat (IR) which is present in the majority of Leguminosae including Loteae (Liston, 1995). A study of the chloroplast gene rbcL also placed Loteae and other temperate tribes in different clades (Doyle et al., 1997), the Loteae being in a robinioid clade and the temperate tribes in an Inverted Repeat Lacking clade (IRLC). In recent supertrees of the Hologalegina alliance (Wojciechowski et al., 2000, 2004), Loteae sens. lat. are sister to Sesbania, and the combined Loteae-Sesbanieae clade is itself sister to the Robinieae.

    Loteae differ from Robinieae in a suite of characters which were listed by Dormer (1945) for his ‘epulvinate series’, i.e., often herbaceous habit and leaves mostly distichous, usually without a pulvinus. These characters are now of less phylogenetic importance since the ‘epulvinate series’ is no longer considered to be a monophyletic group. An obvious synapomorphy of Loteae, shared by all extant members of the tribe, is stamen filaments dilated upwards. This is an adaptation for secondary pollen presentation. Another apomorphy shared by almost all Loteae is the capitate or umbellate partial inflorescence, while Robinieae possesses racemes. A most unusual (and possibly synapomorphic) morphological character of many Loteae is the presence of a foliage leaf on the peduncle. This leaf is often described as a bract, but it has neither a flower nor other structures in its axil. True bracts in Loteae usually lack a blade and are membranous or glandular. Phylogenetic evidence suggests the presence or absence of the foliage leaf on the peduncle is homoplastic within Loteae.

    The circumscription of Loteae has recently been expanded to include genera formerly placed in Coronilleae (Polhill, 1981k & l; 1994). These two tribes were previously distinguished by the lomentaceous fruits and branched root nodules in Coronilleae (fruits non-lomentaceous and root nodules unbranched in Loteae sens. strict.). The Coronilleae were earlier placed in tribe Hedysareae (Bentham, 1865) because of their lomentaceous fruits.

    The merging of Loteae sens. strict. and Coronilleae is supported by both morphological (Polhill, 1981k; Lassen, 1989; Díez & Ferguson, 1990, 1994, 1996; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1996a) and molecular data (Doyle, 1995; Liston, 1995; Doyle et al., 1997; Allan, 1998; Allan & Porter, 2000; Allan et al., 2003). These data indicate that lomentaceous fruits have arisen independently in Coronilleae and Hedysareae, and perhaps even in different genera of Coronilleae. Allan & Porter (2000: Fig. 2A) suggested, however, that lomentaceous fruits were a plesiomorphic condition for Loteae sens. lat. In our opinion, an ancestor of Loteae might have had dehiscent fruits divided into regular compartments by thin transverse septa (as in Sesbania and Lotus sens. lat.). The genera formerly placed in Coronilleae do not form a natural taxonomic unit at any level. Regarding fruit anatomy, lomentaceous fruits of Securigera and Coronilla are related to dehiscent fruits in the Lotus group, while lomentaceous fruits of Ornithopus and Antopetitia share important features of pericarp structure with the indehiscent non-lomentaceous fruits of Anthyllis and Dorycnopsis.

    Recent publications have led to the removal of some groups from Lotus sens. lat. (Lassen, 1986; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1997; Sokoloff, 1999, 2000), Coronilla sens. lat. (Lassen, 1989) and Anthyllis sens. lat. (Lassen, 1986; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1996a, 1997). Morphological and molecular data relevant to the relationships between Old World and New World Loteae have recently been published (Díez & Ferguson, 1990, 1994, 1996; Kramina & Sokoloff, 1997a; Allan, 1998; Allan & Porter, 2000; Allan et al., 2000, 2002, 2003; Degtjareva et al., 2003). The placement of Podolotus in Loteae is now well supported by morphological data. Allan & Porter (2000) and Allan et al. (2003), using nuclear ribosomal ITS, concluded that Old World and New World Lotus sens. lat. belong to distinct clades. In the latter analysis, Old World Lotus forms a moderately supported monophyletic group if Tetragonolobus and Dorycnium are included, while New World Lotus is paraphyletic, also containing the Old World Ornithopus (although with 1 sp. in the New World) and Kebirita among others. In this treatment Loteae is considered to comprise 22 genera and c. 282 species (Fig. 51).

    Polhill (1981k) adopted a broad concept of the genus, but Lassen (1986) and Sokoloff (1999, 2000) accepted a number of segregates; the American species are treated here under Hosackia, Ottleya, Acmispon and Syrmatium (Sokoloff, 1999); the genus is taxonomically difficult at specific as well as at sectional and subgeneric levels; several species are extremely variable, e.g., L. corniculatus L. and L. australis Andr., and hybridisation is frequent
    Habit
    Herbs, suffrutices and shrubs
    Ecology
    Temperate, mediterranean, subtropical and tropical montane grassland and shrubland, desert and disturbed places
    Distribution
    N Temperate; here treated as exclusively Old World, mainly Europe, Mediterranean (including N Africa) and Macaronesia, eastwards to C, SW and E Asia (S and W Siberia, Mongolia, Himalaya, China, Korea and Japan); c. 2 spp. endemic to Australia and 1 sp. to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, and c. 20 spp. in mostly montane tropical to Somalia-Masai regions in Africa and Arabia
    [LOWO]

    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

    Habit
    Shrubs, suffrutices or herbs
    Ecology
    Mediterranean woodland and shrubland, dry slopes; D. strictum (Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) Lassen often in saline habitats
    Distribution
    C, S and E Europe, mainly Mediterranean, eastwards to Caucasus and W Asia (Iran)
    Note
    A generally accepted genus, but limits much disputed; corrections to Rikli's (1901) monograph should be: 1) transfer Anthyllis fulgurans Porta and Lotus strictus Fisch. & C.A.Mey. to Dorycnium (Lassen, 1979; 1986); 2) transfer Dorycnium sect. Canaria Rikli to Lotus, as a subgenus (Gillett, 1959); the basic distinction of Dorycnium from Lotus is the smooth (not papillose) style; further studies may show that Lotus and Dorycnium should be merged, as proposed by Polhill (1981k) and as indicated in the phylogeny of Allan et al. (2003); Sokoloff (2003a) transferred all species of Dorycnium to Lotus; the D. pentaphyllum Scop. complex is very variable and problematic

    The Loteae have been usually considered as the closest relatives of other temperate tribes, especially of the astragaloid part of Galegeae (e.g., Polhill, 1981k: 371–374), and the monospecific genus Podolotus was either allied with Lotus, or merged with Astragalus. Recent molecular data, however, have revealed that Galegeae, Cicereae, Hedysareae, Trifolieae, Fabeae and Millettieae (in small part) lack the chloroplast-DNA inverted repeat (IR) which is present in the majority of Leguminosae including Loteae (Liston, 1995). A study of the chloroplast gene rbcL also placed Loteae and other temperate tribes in different clades (Doyle et al., 1997), the Loteae being in a robinioid clade and the temperate tribes in an Inverted Repeat Lacking clade (IRLC). In recent supertrees of the Hologalegina alliance (Wojciechowski et al., 2000, 2004), Loteae sens. lat. are sister to Sesbania, and the combined Loteae-Sesbanieae clade is itself sister to the Robinieae.

    Loteae differ from Robinieae in a suite of characters which were listed by Dormer (1945) for his ‘epulvinate series’, i.e., often herbaceous habit and leaves mostly distichous, usually without a pulvinus. These characters are now of less phylogenetic importance since the ‘epulvinate series’ is no longer considered to be a monophyletic group. An obvious synapomorphy of Loteae, shared by all extant members of the tribe, is stamen filaments dilated upwards. This is an adaptation for secondary pollen presentation. Another apomorphy shared by almost all Loteae is the capitate or umbellate partial inflorescence, while Robinieae possesses racemes. A most unusual (and possibly synapomorphic) morphological character of many Loteae is the presence of a foliage leaf on the peduncle. This leaf is often described as a bract, but it has neither a flower nor other structures in its axil. True bracts in Loteae usually lack a blade and are membranous or glandular. Phylogenetic evidence suggests the presence or absence of the foliage leaf on the peduncle is homoplastic within Loteae.

    The circumscription of Loteae has recently been expanded to include genera formerly placed in Coronilleae (Polhill, 1981k & l; 1994). These two tribes were previously distinguished by the lomentaceous fruits and branched root nodules in Coronilleae (fruits non-lomentaceous and root nodules unbranched in Loteae sens. strict.). The Coronilleae were earlier placed in tribe Hedysareae (Bentham, 1865) because of their lomentaceous fruits.

    The merging of Loteae sens. strict. and Coronilleae is supported by both morphological (Polhill, 1981k; Lassen, 1989; Díez & Ferguson, 1990, 1994, 1996; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1996a) and molecular data (Doyle, 1995; Liston, 1995; Doyle et al., 1997; Allan, 1998; Allan & Porter, 2000; Allan et al., 2003). These data indicate that lomentaceous fruits have arisen independently in Coronilleae and Hedysareae, and perhaps even in different genera of Coronilleae. Allan & Porter (2000: Fig. 2A) suggested, however, that lomentaceous fruits were a plesiomorphic condition for Loteae sens. lat. In our opinion, an ancestor of Loteae might have had dehiscent fruits divided into regular compartments by thin transverse septa (as in Sesbania and Lotus sens. lat.). The genera formerly placed in Coronilleae do not form a natural taxonomic unit at any level. Regarding fruit anatomy, lomentaceous fruits of Securigera and Coronilla are related to dehiscent fruits in the Lotus group, while lomentaceous fruits of Ornithopus and Antopetitia share important features of pericarp structure with the indehiscent non-lomentaceous fruits of Anthyllis and Dorycnopsis.

    Recent publications have led to the removal of some groups from Lotus sens. lat. (Lassen, 1986; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1997; Sokoloff, 1999, 2000), Coronilla sens. lat. (Lassen, 1989) and Anthyllis sens. lat. (Lassen, 1986; Tikhomirov & Sokoloff, 1996a, 1997). Morphological and molecular data relevant to the relationships between Old World and New World Loteae have recently been published (Díez & Ferguson, 1990, 1994, 1996; Kramina & Sokoloff, 1997a; Allan, 1998; Allan & Porter, 2000; Allan et al., 2000, 2002, 2003; Degtjareva et al., 2003). The placement of Podolotus in Loteae is now well supported by morphological data. Allan & Porter (2000) and Allan et al. (2003), using nuclear ribosomal ITS, concluded that Old World and New World Lotus sens. lat. belong to distinct clades. In the latter analysis, Old World Lotus forms a moderately supported monophyletic group if Tetragonolobus and Dorycnium are included, while New World Lotus is paraphyletic, also containing the Old World Ornithopus (although with 1 sp. in the New World) and Kebirita among others. In this treatment Loteae is considered to comprise 22 genera and c. 282 species (Fig. 51).

    [LOWO]
    Use
    Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil) and L. pedunculatus Cav. sens lat. (big trefoil) are major agronomic species, being valuable forage, pasture, green manure and cover plants; other species are used in cosmetic skin care and, e.g., L. bertholetii Masf., page 454, and L. maculatus Breitf. are cultivated as ornamentals
    [LOWO]
    Use
    Dorycnium hirsutum (L.) Ser. (hairy Canary clover) and other species are used as a forage crop, to control soil erosion and are cultivated as ornamentals

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Altay, Angola, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bismarck Archipelago, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Central European Rus, Chad, China North-Central, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Djibouti, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Føroyar, Gambia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Gulf States, Hungary, India, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuwait, KwaZulu-Natal, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Malawi, Mali, Manchuria, Mauritania, Mexico Northeast, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Northwest European R, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Queensland, Romania, Rwanda, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Selvagens, Senegal, Sicilia, Sinai, Socotra, Somalia, South Australia, South European Russi, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Victoria, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Western Australia, Western Sahara, Xinjiang, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Amsterdam-St.Paul Is, Antipodean Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arkansas, Brazil South, California, Chatham Is., Chile Central, Chile South, Colombia, Colorado, Costa Rica, Easter Is., Falkland Is., Iceland, Illinois, Kentucky, Kermadec Is., Mexico Northwest, New Mexico, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Norfolk Is., Oregon, Primorye, Réunion, South Georgia, St.Helena, Tennessee, Tristan da Cunha, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vermont, Washington

    Lotus L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Tweedie [890], Kenya 9274.000
    Rico, L. [1762], Armenia Dorycnium K000297275

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 773 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1968). Flora Europaea 2: 1-469. Cambridge University Press.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Brand in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 25: 166 (1898).
    • —F.T.A. 2: 61
    Flora Zambesiaca
    • J.B. Gillett in Kew Bull. 13: 361–381 (1959).
    • Brand in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 25: 116–232 (1898).
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 338 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl.: 773 (1753)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Gillett in K.B. 13: 361–81 (1958)
    • Brand in E.J. 25:116–232 (1898)
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 338 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 773 (1753)

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Legumes of the World Online
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0