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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Ornithopus

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Fabaceae > Subfamily: Papilionoideae

About six species, native to Europe, Mediterranean region, western Asia, Atlantic Islands and South America. Ornithopus sativus is a naturalised species in the Western Cape, and there are an additional two species of Ornthopus that are cultivated in southern Africa.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI).

Ornithopus sativus (Serradella)

Native to Europe.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Ornithopus perpusillus (Bird's-foot)

Native to Europe.


Ornithopus pinnatus (Orange bird's-foot)

Native from Europe to Syria.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.