T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Lotus tenuis (Narrow-leaf Bird's-foot Trefoil)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Lotus
Species:     L. tenuis
Binomial name: Lotus tenuis
Synonym: Lotus glaber
inominal name: Lotus tenuis
Common name:  Narrow-leaved birdsfoot trefoil, Narrowleaf trefoil,  Slender trefoil, Creeping trefoil, Prostrate trefoil, Deer vetch

Lotus tenuis  is a flowering, perennial plant of the pea family Fabaceae, native to north-west and east Europe, Mediterranean basin, south-west and east Asia. It has become naturalised in New Zealand. It tends towards prostrate growth habit on account of weak stems but it will climb through shrubs up to a height of 1.5 m plus.
It is suited to humid-temperate environments and adapts to waste land, swampy conditions, heavy soils and to saline and alkaline soils.
The inflorescences bear 8-10 lemon yellow florets, 7-10 mm. The plant is tap-rooted with extensive lateral root branching especially in upper soil layers.

A patch of Lotus tenuis 

Flowers with developing seed pods

Seed pods

Photographed on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Elevation 1450 m.

The leaves.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and Information:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/