Birdsfoot Bumblebee

On the west side of the park, in the area just north of the picnic spot, where the ground used to be marshy, there was a lush growth of various flowers, including Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). After Parks management managed to drain and dry the marsh a few years ago, vegetation was sparse. It’s good to see that some of it has come back, including this tight cluster of the tiny cheerful yellow flowers that grow so close together that from a distance it almost looks like a patch of yellow paint on the grass.

The Yellow-faced Bumblebee (Bombus vosnesenskii) is working busily collecting little droplets of nectar and in the process pollinating the plant. A number of other insects rely on this plant.

Birdsfoot Trefoil got its name from the shape of the seed pod, which has spikes protruding from it that resemble a bird’s foot, see below. The plant may be grown commercially as cattle fodder, valued because it doesn’t cause bloat. It’s also said to have nutritional and medicinal properties. It’s considered invasive in some geographic areas, but the California Invasive Plant Council does not have a listing for it.

More about Lotus corniculatus: Wikipedia Calflora CalPhotos

Yellow-faced Bumblebee (Bombus vosnesenskii) on Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Birdsfoot trefoil seed pod. Peter Rauch photo.

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One thought on “Birdsfoot Bumblebee

  • May 16, 2020 at 8:39 pm
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    wow, the sound they make is AMAZING!

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