The bright yellow flowers of lotus plebeius
turn orange then red as they mature, in common with many other members of this genus. They grow in small numbers towards the top of the slightly short-hairy stems, which tend to be angled sideways, forming tangled clumps, together with the densely-growing compound leaves. Flowers have the familiar pea-shape, formed of five petals; the largest (the banner) is curved strongly backwards, and has a lengthwise groove down the center. The slender involucre terminates in five narrow sepals, ending in a curved point. Leaves also have a sparse hair covering, and slightly pointed tips.