Medicago arabica (L.) Huds.

Spotted Medic

Fl. Angl. 288 (1762) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Decumbent or ascending annual herb; stems 40–60 cm long, sparsely hairy; hairs simple or mixed simple and glandular. Leaflets broadly obovate, 4–40 mm long, 5–45 mm wide, margins minutely dentate or entire, upper surface glabrous, usually with a dark patch near middle, lower surface sparsely appressed-hairy, apex truncate or emarginate with a terminal tooth; stipules to c. 15 mm long, dentate to laciniate, hairy on lower surface. Inflorescence 2–5-flowered; peduncle 0.5–2.5 cm long, shorter than subtending petiole. Flowers on pedicels to c. 1 mm long; calyx 2.5–3 mm long, teeth equal to or shorter than tube; corolla yellow; standard 4–5 mm long; wings shorter than keel. Pods with 3–7 coils, cylindric or subglobose, 5–7 mm long, 4–7 mm diam., glabrous, spiny; coil edge broad, with 3 grooves; face with 5–8 radial veins; veins faint, anastomosing; marginal vein grooved, separated from submarginal veins by grooves; spines 13–15 on each side of coil, to 4 mm long, curved over sides of coil; seeds 5–8, to c. 3 mm long, yellow. Flowers mainly Sep.–Jan.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *VRiv, *VVP, *WPro, *Wim. Naturalised all States except NT. Native to Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East. Scattered widely across Victoria where it favours moist grassy places.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-12-21
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Medicago
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Medicago arabica in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Medicago arabica in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory