Medicago platycarpos (L.) Trautv. - Flat-fruited Medick.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Medicago L.


Medicago platycarpa (L.) Trautv., Melilotoides karkarensis (Vassilcz.) Sojak, Melilotoides platycarpos (L.) Sojak, Melilotoides platycarpos (L.) Sojak var. karkarensis (Vassilcz.) Yakovlev, Melissitus karkarensis (Vassilcz.) Golosk., Melissitus platycarpos (L.) Golosk., Melissitus platycarpus (L.) Golosk., Trigonella karkarensis Vassilcz., Trigonella platycarpos L., Turukhainia platycarpos (L.) Vassilcz., Turukhania platycarpos (L.) Vassilcz.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial subglabrous plant; stems straight, 40.80(100) cm tall, poorly branched; stipules large, triangular-lanceolate, dentate; leaflets orbicular-obovate to oblong-rhombic, acutely dentate, 25.35 X 15.25(35) mm at leaf middle. Inflorescences on lateral branchlets with smaller leaflets usually approximated to the inflorescence; inflorescence stalk slender, 10.20 mm long; flowers (5)8.12(15) on thin pedicels, 3.5 mm long; bracteoles very small, subulate; calyx half as long as corolla, with lanceolate-subulate teeth slightly longer than tube; corolla 7.8 mm long, pale yellow; standard oblong; pod flat, black when mature, 4.6-seeded, elliptic, (15)18.22 mm long and 7.9 mm wide, with transverse, sparse and thin veins, with short and vertically turned-up beak; seeds ovoid, about 2 mm long, yellowish, smooth. Flowers in early June, fruits in late July - early September. Cross-pollinated plant. 2n=16.


West Siberia (south), East Siberia (Sayans . along the Irkut River; Middle Siberian Uplands, along the Angara River . environs of Ust-Uda village and northwards; along the Upper Lena down to Kirensk town; Transbaikal area), Kazakhstan and Central Asia (Kazakh Hummocks . environs of Karkaralinsk town, Tarbagatai, Dzungarian Alatau, Trans-Ili Alatau, Kungey-Ala-Too).


Among forest meadows, thinned forests, in forest fringes, at riversides and ravine slopes, near rocks, among shrubberies; on plain in steppe and forest zones, and in mountains.

Economic value.

Valuable forage plant, forming extensive green mass; deserves bringing under cultivation.


Vassilchenko IT. 1987. Turukhania - Turukhania Vass. In: Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. P.187. (In Russian).
Pavlov NV., ed. 1961. Flora of Kazakhstan. V.2. Alma-Ata. 515 p. (In Russian).
Polozhij AV., Malyshev LI., ed. 1994. Flora of Siberia. V.9. Fabaceae (Leguminosae). (In Russian).
Lesins KA., Lesins I. 1979. Genus Medicago (Leguminosae). A taxogenetic study. 228 p.
Meusel H. et al. 1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der Zentraleuropischen Flora. Jena. 583 p.
Roskov YR. et al. 2005. ILDIS World Database of Legumes. [Online] Available at: .
Small E. 2003. Distribution of perennial Medicago with particular reference to agronomic potential for semiarid Mediterranean climate In: Bennett SJ., ed. New perennial legumes for sustainable agriculture. P.57-80.

© N.I.Dzyubenko, E.A.Dzyubenko

© Photo by E.A.Dzyubenko

Web design —
Kelnik studios