Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Commonly grown as a forage crop this lovely plant has over 70 local names, including Eggs-and-Bacon,for the flower colours, Dutchman’s clogs and Lady’s boots after the flower shape, and Devil’s claw and Granny’s toenails, for the long, black claw-like seed pods. For the same reason, it was called Tom Thumb, a godchild of the Queen of the fairies, who was a restless goblin with dry, black fingers ending in a claw! in the Outer Hebrides an infusion of it was used as an eyewash. In many areas it was considered unlucky to pick, but children in the South of Ireland used to take it to school believing it would save them from punishment, In the language of flowers, it signifies revenge.

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