Etymology: Medicago: derived from Medike, or medick, the Greek name for alfalfa, which came to Greece from Medea
Plants: erect, perennial, 1'-3' tall forb; slender stems; deep roots
Leaves: stalked, 3-parted, long and narrow
Flowers: purple to cream, 5-parted, 1/4"-1/2" long, calyx not 2-lipped; inflorescence a stalked, rounded to cylindrical, head-like cluster (raceme) of short-stalked flowers; blooms June-Sept.
Fruits: finely-hairy pod
Habitat: disturbed sites
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized
USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS): Images of seeds, fruits, embryos, etc. Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"