Spotted Medick - Medicago arabica, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2010 - Amada44

Spotted Medick - Medicago arabica
Family - Fabaceae
Also known as - Spotted Burclover, Heart Clover

An annual yellow flowering (April to September) plant growing in sandy ground, lawns, sea cliffs and waste ground and well drained soils with a mat forming growth.  Trifoliate hairless heart shaped leaves, toothed near the top with dark markings or spots near the centre, and short-toothed stipules.  The bright yellow flowers mature to a hairless globular coiled seed pods with double row of hooked spines.

Native to the Mediterranean area of Europe and also found in the UK as an introduced species it forms a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Sinorhizobium medicae, which help in the fixation of Nitrogen.  It has been used as a forage plant for animals.  It can be found worldwide possibly an introduced plant, it is common in the south of England, absent from much of Wales and scarce in Southern Scotland and Ireland.  The leaves and roots of Spotted Medick are reported to contain biologically active saponins.

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