Lotus azoricus

Lotus azoricus is an endemic plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family and can only be found in coastal areas of the islands of Pico, São Jorge, São Miguel, Santa Maria and Flores. This plant’s populations are scarce and it is estimated that there are between 5000 and 10000 individuals of this species overall and the numbers show a declining trend. Both the current and previous conservation status of this species was assessed as “Unfavourable – Bad” and the country report of Portugal indicates “Unfavourable – Bad” future prospect. Lotus azoricus is listed under Annex B-II of Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). This plant has not been assessed yet by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Common name
Lotus

 

Scientific name
Lotus azoricus

 

Family
Fabaceae

 

Observations
Species protected by the Berne Convention and the Habitats Directive (priority species).

 

Description
Perennial plant, up to 60 cm high, prostrate, much-branched, with persistente woody stock.
Leaves
Satin-silver. Leaflets obovate, 8-10 × 6 mm.

 

Flowers
Pale-yellow or purple, 20-25 mm.

 

Fruits
Cylindrical and upright legume, 60 × 4 mm, with shiny black seeds.

 

Ecology
On coastal areas, usually under 50 m.