Sand Lucerne Medicago sativa ssp varia

Scientific Name: Medicago sativa ssp varia (syn. M. varia, M. sativa ssp media) (Fabaceae).

English Name: Bastard Lucerne; Sand Lucerne (Pea family).

French Name: Luzerne bâtarde (='bastard lucerne'); Luzerne bigarrée (='variegated lucerne').

5 Key Characters:
  • flower colour variable but usually a distinctive mix of purple-black and yellow.
  • seed pod spiralled.
  • favours sandy soil.

Habitat: Lowland grassland, wasteland, urban areas and sandy sites (eg les Pelouses de Bertignolles at the confluence of the Vienne and the Loire.)

Flowering Period: June-July-August-September.

Status: Rare but widely distributed and stable. A fertile hybrid of Sickle Medick M. sativa ssp falcata and Lucerne M. sativa ssp sativa.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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