Medicago orbicularis (L.) Bartal. - Button Clover

Medicago orbicularis plant

Family - Fabacaeae

Stems:

N/A

Leaves:

Medicago orbicularis stipuleStipule.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Medicago orbicularis flowers

Medicago orbicularis fruitsFruits.

Flowering - March - July.

Habitat - Lawns, waste ground.

Origin - Native to the Mediterraniean region.

Other information - This little species is fairly uncommon in Alabama but will most certainly spread with time. The plant is easy to identify because of its fimbriate stipules, toothed leaves, and spirally coiled fruits. A couple of other species are similar but have spines on their fruits.
The genus name Medicago is derived from the Greek word "medice" which is the name of Alfalfa. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) was believed to have been brought to Greece from a city called Medea in the North-African country of Algeria.
The species epithet orbicularis derives from the Latin "orbi(c)" meaning "a circle" referring to the orbicular fruits.

Alabama Distribution:

Medicago orbicularis map

Photographs taken in Lebanon, TN., 5-16-03.


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