Medicago polymorpha
toothed medick
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Introduced from Europe and found almost throughout the United States; escecially abundant west of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada.

Habitat: Waste ground and disturbed areas, mostly at low elevations.

Flowers: March - June

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Usually glabrous annual, the stems 1-4 dm. long, prostrate to nearly erect.


Leaves trifoliate, the leaflets obovate or obcordate with a wedge-shaped base, 1-1.5 cm, long, not spotted, denticulate at the apex; stipules lacerated for over half their width.


Flowers 2-5 on fairly short peduncles arising from the leaf axils; calyx 3 mm. long, the 5 teeth slightly longer than the tube; corolla pea-like, yellow, 4-5 mm. long, the banner erect, much longer than the wings and keel.


Pod spirally coiled, the margins narrowly keeled, spineless, or with two rows of divergent prickles up to 3 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Medicago polymorpha L.
Publication: Fl. Carniol. (ed. 2) 2: 89. 1772.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Medicago apiculata Willd.
Medicago hispida Gaertn. [HC]
Medicago hispida Gaertn. var. apiculata (Willd.) Burnat
Medicago hispida Gaertn. var. confinis (W.D.J. Koch) Burnat
Medicago polymorpha L. var. brevispina (Benth.) Heyn
Medicago polymorpha L. var. ciliaris (Ser.) Shinners
Medicago polymorpha L. var. polygyra (Urb.) Shinners
Medicago polymorpha L. var. tricycla (Gren. & Godr.) Shinners
Medicago polymorpha L. var. vulgaris (Benth.) Shinners
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Medicago polymorpha in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Medicago polymorpha checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Medicago polymorpha atlas page.

CalPhotos: Medicago polymorpha photos.

USDA Plants: Medicago polymorpha information.

15 photographs:
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