Trigonella procumbens (Bess.) Rchb. - Procumbent trigonella

Taxonomic position.

Family Leguminosae Endl., genus Trigonella L.


Melilotus procumbens Bess., Trigonella besseriana Ser., T. caerulea var. besseriana Schmalh. 

Biology and morphology.

It is an annual herb. Stems ascending or procumbent, hollow, thick, with uprising branches, 20-100 cm tall. Stipules are triangular-lanceolate, serrate. Leaves are obovate, saw-toothed. Flower stalks longer than leaves. Racemes compact, globular, 10-20 mm long (20-40 florets in inflorescence). Calyx is twice as short as corolla. Corolla is 7-8 mm long, blue. Pod is erect or slightly curved, compressed, 5-6 mm long with short curved beak, one-seeded. Seeds small elongated. Blossoms in April-May, seeds ripen in May-July. Plant is self-pollinated. 2n=16.


Plant is distributed throughout the European part of Russia, the Ukraine, Crimea, Moldova and the Caucasus.


Prefers sandy soils. Plant grows along seashores, wet meadows, in saline meadows and among bushes in the lower mountain zone.

Utilization and economic value.

It is a forage and aromatic plant. Forage plant of great interest as a presumed ancestor of cultivated blue-white trigonella (T. caerulea). Good palatability by animals but poor productivity. Used in green cheese production. Useful for utilization in breeding programs in crosses with cultivated Trigonella species.

Reference citations:

Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1980. Wild relatives of the cultivated plants of flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 376 pp. (in Russian).
Galushko, A.I. 1980. Flora of Northern Caucasus. V. 2. A field guide. Rostov-na-Donu. 350 pp. (In Russian)
Grossheim, A.A. 1952. Genus Trigonella. Flora of the Caucasus. V. 5. Moscow-Leningrad: AN USSR. 168-177 p. (In Russian)
Kolakovskiy, A.L. 1958. Flora of Abhasiya. V. 3. Tbilisi. 292 pp. (In Russian)
Schischkin, V.K. & E.G. Bobrov, ed. 1948. Flora of the USSR. V. 13. Genus Trigonella. V. 13. Moscow-Leningrad: AN USSR. 102-129 p. (In Russian)
Phyodorov, A.A., ed. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V. 6. 254 pp. (In Russian)

© Dzyubenko N. I., Dzyubenko E. A.


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