Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.

FABACEAE

LEGUME FAMILY

Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 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, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.

MEDICAGO

Duane Isely

Annual or perennial herb, unarmed
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves generally odd-1-pinnate, sometimes subpalmately compound; stipules somewhat fused with petiole, entire or deeply cut; leaflets 3, generally toothed near tip
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary or terminal, few–many-flowered
Flower: calyx lobes ± equal or not; corolla yellow or purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 free
Fruit indehiscent, generally coiled 1.5–5 turns, generally prickly
Seeds 1–several
Species in genus: ± 55 species: Eurasia (especially Medit); several cultivated and naturalized worldwide
Etymology: (Medea, source of alfalfa, which then bore Greek name Medice)
Reference: [Small & Jomphe 1989 Can J Bot 67:3260–3294]

Introduced

M. polymorpha L.

CALIFORNIA BURCLOVER

Annual, generally glabrous
Stem prostrate, mat-forming, or ascending, 1–4 dm
Leaf: stipules generally cut 1/2 width or deeper; leaflets generally 1–2 cm, generally wedge-shaped or obovate, length 1–2 X width
Inflorescence 2–6-flowered
Flower: calyx ± 3 mm; corolla 3.5–6 mm, yellow
Fruit coiled 2–6 turns, ovoid to short-cylindric; prickles ± straight, hooked, or 0
Seeds few
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Abundant. Disturbed and agricultural areas
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: widespread in s US, elsewhere; native to Mediterranean
Synonyms: M. hispida Gaertn., including var. confinus (Koch) Burnat
Provides spring pasture in CA; bur-like fruits lodge in animal fur.

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bioregional map for MEDICAGO%20polymorpha being generated
 
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Medicago polymorpha
Retrieve dichotomous key for Medicago
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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