Medicago aschersoniana Urb.
Medicago leonis Sennen & Mauricio
Medicago polymorpha laciniata L.
Common Name: Tattered Medick
Medicago laciniata is a spreading, annual plant with weak, ascending stems that branch freely at the base - it can grow 20 - 50cm tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a tea.
Northern and eastern Africa - Morocco to Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania; Arabian Peninsula, western Asia from Israel, Syria, to India.
Sandy and stony deserts and dry steppe areas at elevations up to about 400 metres[
]. Grassland, woodland, disturbed ground; short dry grassland, pastures especially where seasonally water logged at elevations from 1,150 - 2,200 metres[
Medicago laciniata is a plant of arid and semi-arid areas from the warm temperate to the tropical zones, where it is found at elevations up to 400 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 20°c, but can tolerate 4 - 25°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 350 - 500mm, but tolerates 250 - 600mm[
Requires a sunny position in a light, well-drained soil[
]. Succeeds in soils of low to moderate fertility[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 6 - 8[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The herb is used as a condiment for tea, or is mixed with boiled water and sugar to form a beverage[
Aqueous, ethanol and butanol crude extracts of the aerial parts of the plant were tested for antimicrobial activity. The butanol extract was the most effective, followed by the ethanol extract. The aqueous extract had low activity. The butanol extract at 2000 μg/disc had a superior antifungal activity compared with the standard treatments of chloramphenicol, tetracycline and nalidixic acid[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ[