Family and Genus:- See- LEGUMINOSAE/Subgen. CYMATIUM

Common Name:- Spotted medick, Calvary clover.

Homotypic Synonyms:- Medica arabica, Medica echinata, Medica maculata
Medicago arabica var. maculata, Medicago maculata, Medicago polymorpha
var. arabica.

Meaning:- Medicago (Gr) Median-grass, A name used by the Greek physician
and botanist Dioscorides, from a Persian name for lucerne, or medick.
                  Arabica (L) Of Arabia, Arabian.
General description:- Sparsely pubescent to glabrous annual.

1) Up to 50 cm. angled or sulcate, with sparse, long, multicellular hairs.

1) Long-pedunculate.
2) Leaflets, obovate to obtriangular, dentate in front, usually with a conspicuous, 
    dark central blotch.
3) Stipules, deeply dentate to laciniate.

1) Peduncles, much shorter than the pedicels.
2) Inflorescence, usually 2-5-flowered.
3) Corolla, 4-5 mm, pale yellow.

1) Legume, (4-)5-6 mm diam, in a lax spiral of 4-7 turns, subglobose to shortly  
    ellipsoid, somewhat flattened at both ends, glabrous, usually spiny; transverse
    veins curved, anastomosing and forming a tangentially elongated network near 
    the margin.
    a) margin, with 3 grooves, the lateral deeper and wider than the central;
    b) spines, usually 1/2-3/4 as long as the diameter of the legume, deeply sulcate.

Key features:-
1) Margin of the legume keeled or rounded; spines usually patent.
2) Leaflets, nearly always with a dark spot.
3) Legume, marginal vein, sulcate, margin, with 3 conspicuous grooves.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Damp meadows, olive groves, mixed scrub, shaded banks. 0-600(-1200)

Distribution:- Throughout Greece. - Widespread in Europe, the Mediterranean area
and SW Asia. Widespread and common on Crete, but scarce in the far east of the

Flowering time:- Late Mar to early June.

Photos by:- Enda McMullen.