Spotted Medick - Medicago arabica


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


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

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map