Medicago arborea L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Medicago arborea' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/medicago/medicago-arborea/). Accessed 2021-12-05.

Genus

Common Names

  • Moon Trefoil

Other taxa in genus

    Glossary

    apex
    (pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
    axillary
    Situated in an axil.
    glabrous
    Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
    trifoliolate
    With three leaflets.

    References

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    Credits

    Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

    Recommended citation
    'Medicago arborea' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/medicago/medicago-arborea/). Accessed 2021-12-05.

    This shrub is chiefly interesting as a woody member of a genus represented in the British flora by about half a dozen herbaceous plants known as ‘medicks’, and including the ‘lucerne’. It is not hardy at Kew in the open, but will live against a wall; it is said to have been 11 ft high at one time in the Chelsea Physic Garden. It is best adapted for the south and south-western counties. A shrub, evergreen where it thrives, usually 6 or 8 ft high; its stems very leafy but little branched, covered with grey down. Leaves trifoliolate, 1 to 112 in. long; leaflets 14 to 34 in. long, wedge-shaped, sometimes toothed, sometimes notched at the apex, silky beneath, glabrous above. Flowers yellow, 12 in. long, crowded at the end of short axillary racemes which continue to appear as the shoot extends, from April well into autumn, but never making a great display at one time. Easily increased by soft cuttings in bottom heat. The leaves are produced in clusters at each joint, and as the joints are usually about 12 in. apart, the stem has a very leafy aspect. The pod is flat, but curled round like a ram’s horn. In the south of Europe it makes a pleasing undergrowth in thinnish woodland and at the out­skirts of plantations, especially in maritime districts. Its distribution as a truly wild plant is not precisely known. It is certainly spontaneous in several countries bordering the north shore of the Mediterranean, and in Rhodes and the Cyclades, but may be no more than naturalised in some parts, e.g., S. France.