Spotted Medick - Medicago arabica

    Description

    The three leaflets are heart shaped, toothed near the apex, generally with dark blotches in the centre. Flowers are yellow, 5 to 7 mm solitary or 2 to 4 together. Pod is spiralled with 4 to 7 turns.

    Similar Species

    Black Medick and yellow-flowered Lucerne; hop- and lesser-trefoils have similar flowers .  There are several other medicks with similar flowers, which haven't been recorded in VC55 but may turn up; the differences depend mainly on the shape and structure of the spiny fruits. 

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    The fruits are spiny (the fruits of black medick and lucerne are not spiny).  The leaves are usually with a single black spot, but this can be small or absent.  If the leaves are not blotched, the fruit should be examined, with reference to the keys and diagrams in Stace (4th edition)

    Recording advice

    A photograph of the whole plant, showing leaves and/or fruits

    Habitat

    Roadsides, wasteland and short turf.

    When to see it

    Flowers May to September.

    Life History

    Spring germinating annual.

    UK Status

    Widespread but occasional.

    VC55 Status

    Rather infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 8 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) is is Native; scarce.

    It is on the local VC55 Rare Plant Register

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map