Lotus australis

Family Fabaceae

Australian Trefoil

Erect or ascending perennial herb to 60 cm high.

Flowers: Pink, white or purple pea flowers.

Fruit: Pod 30–50 mm long, mature October–December, peak October. Averaging 9 seeds per pod.

Seed: Hard-coated seed. The seeds are expelled from the pod as it dries out and twists apart. Physical dormancy.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Grassy woodland habitat, light shade to full sun.
  • Rare, localised in woodland remnats at the Australian Botanic Garden.
  • Resprouts after fire.
  • Butterfly larvae Zinina labradus labradus reported to feed on young leaves, flower-buds and seed-pods.
  • Legumes reported to have nitrogen fixing Rhizobium nodules on roots.


Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Lotus australis plant

Lotus australis flower

Lotus australis fruit

Lotus australis seed