Medicago arabica (L.) Huds.
spotted medic (spotted medick)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #29481)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Medicago arabica
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Species Information

Annual herb; stems prostrate or decumbent, 30-80 cm tall, nearly glabrous or with long soft hairs.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 3, egg- to heart-shaped, purple-blotched near the centre, jagged-toothed in the upper half, 1.5-3 cm long; stipules coarse-toothed, not sheathing.
Inflorescence of 1 to 5 pea-like flowers in a reduced, axillary raceme on a stalk 1-3 cm long, the stalks shorter than the leaves; corollas yellow, about 5 mm long, the banner longer than the wings and keel; calyces sparsely white-hairy, 2-3 mm long, the lanceolate, long-pointed teeth slightly longer than the tube.
Pods, coiled through 3 to 5 spirals, round, 4-8 mm in diameter, the outer margins with 2 rows of curved or hooked spines 2.5-3.5 mm long; seeds several.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry fields and waste places; rare, known only from the Victoria area; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Medicago arabica subsp. inermis Ricker
Medicago maculata Sibth.