Synonym(s): Goldfields medic, burr medick, Medicago minima (L.) L. var. pubescens Webb, Medicago minima (L.) L. var. compacta Neyraut, Medicago minima (L.) L. var. longiseta DC,
Family: Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Duration and Habit: Annual Forb/ Herb
Medicago minima is an annual herb. The stems and branches are arching, spreading or decumbent. This plant spreads along the ground or surface with its extremities curving upward. Grows trailing or sometimes mat forming. Stems are less than 1 m tall. Stems are solid, sparsely to densely hairy. The leaves of Little bur-clover are alternate and petiolate, stipules conspicuous. The stipules are green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous. Leaves are hairy on one or both sides. Flowers are orange or yellow, zygomorphic. Petals are separate and clawed, calyx hairy. There are 9- 10 stamens with 9 united, 1 free (diadelphous). Inflorescences has globose heads. Fruit is a legume. The fruit is spirally coiled or contorted. Fruit spiny, bur-like with hooked bristles or prickles. Seeds are olive, brown, or black with a smooth surface.
Native Lookalikes: Currently no information available here yet, or there are no native Texas species that could be confused with Little bur-clover.
Biology & Spread: Medicago minima forms a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti, which is capable of nitrogen fixation. Little bur-clover thrives on disturbed soils, and flowers April - July. This plant usually occurs in non wetlands, but can sometimes be found in wetlands. Medicago minima occurs at an elevation between 40 and 1290 meters.
U.S. Habitat: Low roadsides, disturbed shores, and other moist open habitats. Usually found in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetland areas.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: Mediterranean basin
U.S. Present: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, FL, HI, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA
Distribution in Texas: continental U.S. and Hawaii
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MEMI http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Medicago+minima http://eol.org/pages/703643/details#physical_description http://vaplantatlas.org/index.php?do=plant&plant=2995 http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=32934
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