Family and Genus:- See- LEGUMINOSAE/Sect. LOPHOBRYCHIS

Common Names:- Cockscomb sainfoin

Homotypic Synonyms:- Hedysarum caput-galli

Meaning:- Onobrychis (Gr) Ass-bray (a name used by the Greek physician
Dioscorides for a legume eaten by asses).
                  Caput-galli (L) Cock's-head.
General description:- Annual with a slender taproot; last year’s fruit often
remaining at base of the plant.

1) 10-30 cm. procumbent to erect.

1) Alternate, leaflets 4-7 pairs, 4-20 x 2-6 mm, oblong to narrowly obovate.

1) Peduncles, axillary, ± equalling the leaves.
2) Inflorescence, a short, 2-5-flowered raceme.
3) Calyx teeth, 2-3 times as long as the tube.
4) Corolla, 4-7 mm, reddish-purple with darker veins.

1) Legume, hard and indehiscent, 1- or 2-seeded, semi-orbicular, compressed,
    appressed-puberulent, with sharp, linear-triangular spines on the crest and
    shorter spines on the valves.

Key features:-
1) Racemes, not more than 8-flowered.
2) Corolla, 7-8 mm.
3) Legume, with linear-triangular to subulate teeth on the margin.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Dry open shrubby vegetation, dry grassland, fallow fields, along paths and
on waste-ground, generally 0-800 m. (occasionally higher).

Distribution:- N. Mediterranean from S France to Turkey and Cyprus, but not
Balearic Is., Corsica or Sardinia. Widespread and common on Crete.

Flowering time:- Mar-May.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton