Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Medicago

View taxon page for Medicago

(For a list of species in Medicago, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Fruit 1-seeded, , not prickly, black; flower 2–3 mm ..... M. lupulina

1' Fruit 1- to several-seeded, spirally coiled (or straight to sickle-shaped), prickly or not, tan or gray to black; flower 2–11 mm

2. Perennial herb, generally corolla 6–11 mm, violet or violet- to yellow-green (yellow); fruit not prickly ..... M. sativa

2' Annual, generally , or low; corolla generally 2–7 mm, yellow to orange-yellow; fruit prickly or not

3. Fruit not prickly, ± 1–1.5 cm wide ..... [M. scutellata]

3a. Stipules generally divided ± to base into a cluster of bristles ..... [M. orbicularis]

3a' Stipules  ..... [M. scutellata]

3' Fruit generally prickly, < 1 cm wide

4. Stipules generally  to ± dentate; plant hairs generally dense

5. Leaves densely hairy; fruit sparsely hairy ..... M. minima

5' Leaves, fruit hairy, often glandular-hairy (or fruit glabrous) ..... M. rigidula

4' Stipules deeply toothed or cut; plant hairs generally ± 0 to sparse (strigose in M. praecox)

6. Leaflet generally with dark central spot, obovate to obcordate, length ± = or 1–2 × width;   or subpalmate; stipules generally cut 1/4–1/2 width

7. Leaflet generally obcordate, length ± = width; leaf pinnate or ± ; fruit a loose spiral, glabrous ..... M. arabica

7' Leaflet obovate (obcordate), length 1–2 × width; leaf pinnate; fruit generally a tight spiral, sparsely (densely) hairy ..... M. truncatula

6' Leaflet without dark central spot, generally wedge-shaped or obovate to obcordate, length 1–2 × width; leaf pinnate; stipules generally cut ± >= 1/2 width

8. Leaflet generally 10–20 mm, generally glabrous; corolla 3.5–6 mm; CA-FP; common ..... M. polymorpha

8' Leaflet 3–10 mm, generally ; corolla 2.5–4 mm; NCoRI, CaRF, SN, SnFrB, SCo; uncommon ..... M. praecox



Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.