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FABACEAE (Leguminosae) LEGUME FAMILY

Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted

Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1–few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 ± united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1–many, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth.
± 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. [Lewis et al. (eds) 2005 Legumes of the World. RBG, Kew] Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2–5(8) (vs 7–17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. <Noxious weed>, Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss <Noxious weed> (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cultivated. Ononis alopecuroides L. <Noxious weed>, Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. <Noxious weed> all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania. —Scientific Editors: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Fabaceae

MEDICAGO ALFALFA, MEDICK

Martin F. Wojciechowski & Duane Isely

Annual, perennial herb, unarmed, generally hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: subpalmately compound or generally odd-1-pinnate; stipules ± fused to petiole, entire or deeply cut; leaflets 3, generally dentate near tip. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, raceme, generally umbel- or ± head-like, 1–many-flowered. Flower: calyx lobes ± equal or not; corolla yellow or purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 free. Fruit: indehiscent, reniform or generally spirally coiled 1.5–8 turns (or sickle-shaped or straight), generally prickly. Seed: 1–several.
83 species: Mediterranean to western and central Asia; several cultivated, naturalized in warm temperate. (Greek: Medice, now Media, Asia Minor, source of alfalfa) Medicago muricata possibly naturalized in Carrizo Plain.
Unabridged references: [Small & Jomphe 1989 Canad J Bot 67:3260–3294]

Key to Medicago

M. sativa L. ALFALFA
NATURALIZED
Perennial herb, ± glabrous or puberulent. Stem: generally erect, 2–8 dm. Leaf: stipules lanceolate, entire to sharply toothed; leaflets 1–2.9 cm, narrowly lanceolate to obovate. Inflorescence: spike-like, 8–30-flowered, longer in fruit. Flower: calyx 4–4.5 mm; corolla 6–11 mm, violet or violet- to yellow-green (yellow). Fruit: generally coiled 2–3 turns (or straight or sickle-shaped); light to dark yellow-brown, leathery, prickles 0, hairs 0.
2n=16,32. Disturbed, agricultural areas; < 2450 m. California Floristic Province, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains (Panamint Range); United States except southeastern; native to Eurasia. Cult; highly variable, polyploid complex in United States, including genetic components from several species; often divided into several species or subspecies, none tenable. Apr–Oct [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Sep 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Medicago, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=32943, accessed on Sep 18 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Medicago sativa Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.