Scientific: Lotus berthelotii
Common: parrot's beak
Family: Fabaceae
Origin: Canary and Cape Verde Islands off the northwest coast of Africa

Pronounciation: LOW-tus ber-the-LOT-ee-i

Hardiness zones
13-24 as tender perennial
USDA 1-9 as summer annual, 10-12 as tender perennial

Landscape Use: Tender ground cover for color borders and color rock gardens, great container plant, hanging basket.

Form & Character: Evergreen, spreading and trailing, tender, refined, interesting, informal.

Growth Habit: Prostrate and spreading to 3 feet wide, but only 6 inches tall.

Foliage/Texture: Glaucous silver, densely pubescent, compound with 3 to 5 needle-like leaflets per leaf, leaves to 1 inch long; fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Clusters of orange or red flowers, slender, pea flower shaped to 2 inches long; flowers are self incompatible, thus fruit set in cultivated settings is rare.

Seasonal Color: Blooms during spring and summer.

Temperature: Frost sensitive, freeze intolerant.

Light: Partial sun in Phoenix, no direct western exposure.

Soil: Tolerant of mild soil alkalinity, sandy well drained.

Watering: Regular irrigations in desert areas.

Pruning: Relative little needed except to occassionally control spread.

Propagation: Mostly by cutting, some seed

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Parrot's beak is not a common bedding landscape plant in Phoenix. However, it is a great herbaceous plant as a hanging basket under a covered patio. The flowers are very unusual and showy, and are believed to have evolved for bird pollination.