Medicago sativa ssp falcata   Sickle Medick RR DD N

Medicago sativa ssp falcata Medicago sativa ssp falcata whole

This plant is really a native of East Anglia but is found naturalised elsewhere particularly in the South East of England. Of the three M. sativa subspecies Medicago sativa ssp sativa (Lucerne) is the commonest and easiest to identify having purple or mauve flowers. The other two M. sativa ssp falcata (Sickle Medick) and M. sativa ssp varia (Sand Lucerne) both can have similar yellowish flowers and are best separated by the shape of the fruits. In this case (ssp falcata) the fruits are straightish or curved in a half circle where the fruits of ssp varia are often spiralled. Ssp varia can have multicoloured flowers which helps to distinguihs it from ssp falcata.

The distribution of this plant is heavily concentrated in the east Anglia and south east of England with small numbers in Scotland. Ireland and Wales.

Mudchute Park, Docklands, London 1st July 2006

Added on 5th October 2006, updated 21st December 2010