Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Lotus angustissimus - Slender Bird's-foot-trefoil

Range & Status

Native; a perennial European Southern-temperate species, which reaches the northern edge of its range in southern Britain, south of a line from Bristol to London.

Regional Distribution

It has been recorded in 62 1km squares but only 12 since 1999. The greatest loss has been in West Cornwall where one possible site remains near Little Petherick (SW97). However, it maintains populations along the coast of south-east Cornwall, between Polruan (SX15) and Penlee Point (SX44) as well as at a couple of outlying sites.

Habitat & Ecology

Usually a coastal plant, it occurs on cliff-tops in small open areas, by cliff paths and on grassy banks by the coast. It has also been found in a quarry and a disused railway line.


It is vulnerable to habitat change, such as scrub encroachment, but also to severe

summer droughts that cause it to wither quickly. The latter probably accounts for its erratic appearance.


Most of the sites are SSSI.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.