• WordNet 3.6
    • n Medicago a genus of herbs that resemble clover
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n medicago A genus of plants of the natural order Leguminosæ and the tribe Trifolieæ; the clovers. It is characterized by an obtuse keel and a scythe-shaped legume which is more or less spirally curved or twisted. There are about 40 species, natives of Europe, Asia, and Africa, but now naturalized in other parts of the world. They are herbs, or rarely shrubs, with pinnately trifoliate leaves and adnate stipules, and usually small papilionaceous flowers, which are yellow, rarely purple, and grow in axillary racemes or heads, or sometimes almost solitary. The common name of plants of the genus is medic, sometimes snail-clover. M. sativa, with purple flowers, is an important fodder-plant, cultivated under the names of alfalfa and lucerne (which see). M. lupulina, the black medic or nonesuch, closely resembles the hop-clovers, and also shares their name, but is distinguished by its black pods. It is of some agricultural value when growing with other herbage. M. maculata, the spotted medic (heart-clover), has a peculiar, spirally coiled prickly pod. These species are all naturalized in the United States. M. arborea is a shrubby species (tree-medic, moon-trefoil) of southern Europe, said to promote the secretion of milk. M. scutellata of the Mediterranean region is also a good forage-plant, resisting drought well. M. falcata is the yellow or sickle-podded medic.
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In literature:

The seeds are very curious monsters; I fancy of some plant allied to Medicago, but I will show them to Dr. Hooker.
"The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II (of II)" by Charles Darwin
Medicago sp., ?., Europe.
"Vegetable Teratology" by Maxwell T. Masters
Medicago sativa L. Pulse family.
"Texas Honey Plants" by C. E. Sanborn

In news:

Medicago Achieves Fourth Milestone in Setting Up US cGMP Facility for Plant- Expressed Vaccines.