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Medicago (lucerne genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Fabaceae > Subfamily: Papilionoideae

About 50 species, native to Europe, Africa and Asia. No indigenous species in southern Africa but five species and one hybrid are naturalised, and an additional seven species are cultivated in the region. Medicago sativa (Alfalfa, Lucerne, Medic) is an important forage crop.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

 List from Plants of southern Africa (POSA) - an online checklist (SANBI).

Medicago falcata (Sickle medick)

Native to Eurasia.

 

Medicago laciniata

Native to the Mediterranean.

 

Medicago lupulina (Black medick, Hop clover, Nonsuch, Yellow trefoil, Shamrock)

Native to Eurasia and North Africa.

 

Medicago polymorpha (Toothed medick)

Native to Eurasia and North Africa.

Medicago sativa (Alfalfa, Lucerne, Medic)

Native to Eurasia. Lucerne is the most important of the world's forage crops and was domesticated for feeding animals rather than for direct human consumption.

Medicago x hemicycla

 

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Medicago arabica (Spotted medick)

Native to Eurasia and North Africa.

 

Medicago arborea (Moon trefoil)

Native from the Canary Islands to southwestern Asia.

 

Medicago intertexta (Calvary clover)

Native to the Mediterranean.

 

Medicago orbicularis

Native from the Mediterranean to Iran.

 

Medicago scutellata

Native from the Mediterranean to the Crimea.

 

Medicago truncatula (Barrel medick)

Native to the Mediterranean.

 

Medicago turbinata

Native from the Mediterranean to Iraq.

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 


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