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Genus: Lotus

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Papilionoideae

About 100 species, widespread, with four species native to southern Africa, two species naturalised, and an additional 11 species that are cultivated in the region. Lotus arabicus is not included here, as it's current taxonomic status is considered uncertain by the African Plants Database. This genus is not to be confused with the common name lotus which applies to species of aquatic plants in the genus Nelumbo (family: Nelumbonaceae).

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Lotus discolor


Lotus mossamedensis


Lotus namulensis

Lotus wildii

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa (POSA) - an online checklist (SANBI).

Lotus corniculatus (Bird's-foot trefoil, Eggs-and-bacon)

Native to Eurasia and North Africa.


Lotus subbiflorus

Native to southwestern Europe.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Lotus berthelotii

Native to Canary Islands and Cape Verde.


Lotus conjugatus

Native from Portugal to Greece.


Lotus creticus

Native to the Mediterranean.


Lotus glaber

Native to Europe, North Africa, western Asia.


Lotus maculatus

Native to the Canary Islands.


Lotus maritimus

Native from Europe to the Caucasus.


Lotus ornithopodioides

Native to the Mediterranean.


Lotus pedunculatus (Greater bird's-foot trefoil)

Native to the Mediterranean.


Lotus perigrinus

Native from Greece to Lebanon.


Lotus tetragonolobus

Native to western Europe.


Lotus uliginosus

Native to Eurasia and North Africa.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


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