Advanced Search Map Locator
View Settings
Nurseries Carrying this Plant Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
Show all Photos

Butterflies My Plant Lists Nurseries Planting Guide Contact Calscape About Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Scientific Name Order by # of Butterflies Hosted
Show nursery cultivars Hide nursery cultivars
Show plants not in nurseries Hide plants not in nurseries
Grid view Text view
Seaside Bird's Foot Trefoil
Hosackia gracilis
About Seaside Bird's Foot Trefoil (Hosackia gracilis) Nurseries Show All Photos Hosackia gracilis is a species in the Fabaceae (Legume) family known by the common name Seaside Bird's-foot Trefoil. It is a rare plant native to western North America from British Columbia to California, as far south as San Luis Obispo County, where it grows in moist spots in the coastal mountains and down to the oceanside bluffs. Due to its limited distribution it is included on CNPS list 4.2. It is a perennial herb growing upright or spreading to about half a meter in maximum length. It is lined with leaves each made up of a few oppositely arranged oval leaflets up to 2 centimeters long. The flower cluster is made up of several pea-like flowers each 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flower has a bright yellow banner, or upper petal, and bright pink or white lower petals. The fruit is a legume pod 2 or 3 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.33 - 1.6 ft (0.1 - 0.49 m)

Flower Color
Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist meadows


Elevation ?
10' - 3663'

Annual Precip. ?
16.6" - 65.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 1.99"

Coldest Month ?
41.1° F - 50.8° F

Hottest Month ?
56.0° F - 72.2° F

Humidity ?
0.02 vpd - 21.22 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers well drained soil


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Sunset Zones ?
15*, 16*, 17*

Companion Plants
Use with annuals or herbaceous perennials of the north coast such as Snapdragon (Antirrhinum sp.), Sitka Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), Milkweed (Asclepias sp.), Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla), Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), Poppy (Eschscholzia sp.), Blue Field Gilia (Gilia capitata); with geophytes such as onion (Allium sp.), Mariposa Lily (Calochortus sp.); and with small succulents such as Dudleya sp.

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Lotus formosissimus

Common Names
Seaside Bird's-foot Trefoil, Seaside Birdsfoot Trefoil, Western Trefoil

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In