Syn.: Medicago maculata Sibth., Medicago cordata Desr., Medicago polymorpha var. arabica L.
Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
Medicago arabica
Distribution: Native to the Mediterranean region, Crimea and Caucasus. It has been introduced to the Azores and Canary Islands, Britain and the southern part of Central Europe, North America (west coast states) and South America (from southern Brazil to Patagonia, also Juan Fernández Islands), southern Africa, southern China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Kermadec Islands.
Ecology: It grows on fallow fields and in disturbed sites. It blooms from April to July.
Description: Annual herb. Stem procumbent to ascending, 15–30(–60) long, branched, sparsely pubescent to glabrous. Leaves petiolate, 3-foliolate, leaflets usually obcordate, 2 cm long, dentate near the apex, usually with a dark spot. Racemes axillary, 1–5-flowered; calyx campanulate, with 5 teeth; corolla 5–7 mm long. Legume 4–6 mm in diameter, in a lax spiral of 4–7 turns, subglobose to shortly ellipsoid, somewhat flattened at both ends, glabrous, usually spiny.
Note: The genus Medicago contains about 85 species from Europe, Africa and southern Asia.
Medicago arabica
Medicago arabicaMedicago arabica
These images were taken in Italy, Gargano (April 18, 2008).