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Hairy Medick
Medicago italica

3.7 Vulnerable

name of participantsBased on: "The Red Book of Israeli Plants - Threatened Plants in Israel" by Prof. Avi Shmida, Dr. Gadi Pollack and Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

Medicago italica is an annual, prostrate, hairy plant. Its stems mostly branch out close to the base of the plant. Leaves are trifoliate; stipules shaped differently than the leaflets. The flowers are grouped into inflorescences of 8-15 at the tops of the stems. Flowers are pea-like (papilionate), yellow, about 4 mm long. The fruit is a flat and discoid pod, without prickles or occasionally with tiny prickles; it is spiral with 1-2.5 coils. The veins on the coils resemble radii facing the center.

Medicago italica was collected in the past from all of the coastal plain regions – Acre
Valley, Carmel Coast, Sharon and the Philistean Plain area, and grows there in
dozens of locations. However, surveys conducted in the 1980s and 90s, did not
find populations which had once existed in in the Acre Valley, the Carmel
Coast, the Philistean Plain region, the Gaza Coast and Judean Mountains. The
species was collected during the first half of the 20th century in
Jerusalem, in 1931 and 1942, and in the spring of 2000 at Burg El-Malih in the
Samarian ecotone (single observation).
is now found almost exclusively in the Sharon, but
in this region too, the number of locations has decreased, although a number of
new locations, unknown in the past, were discovered. The primary concentrations
of surviving populations are located in the Tel Mond-Ramat HaKovesh-Kadima-Ilanot
region. In addition, a new location near Binyamina was found in Hamra soil.

Sand and hamra-sand soil and fallow sandy fields on
the coastal plain, with a preference for hamra.

Destruction of the natural
habitats of hamra sand on the coastal plain is the primary cause of the
extinction of these populations, and the decrease in the number of regions and
locations. It is unclear why most of the populations survived specifically in
the Sharon, and not in other coastal plain regions, despite the widespread
agricultural and urban development in this area.

M. italica grows
in patches of dozens to hundreds of plants in areas of a few meters to dozens
of meters. Population fragmentation corresponds to habitat fragmentation.

Information is lacking
regarding the annual demographic trends and population size fluctuation at each
of the locations.

The species is found in all
of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea and is apparently not globally endangered.

The plant is protected in the
Kadima Reserve.

Additional populations of Medicago italica should be searched for in all of the coastal plain regions. Demographic
tracking of the familiar populations, can clarify long-term trends in population
stability. The species should be naturalized in appropriate soil at the Benne
Tsion and Wadi Poleg reserves.

The Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Mediterranean
Sea Islands – Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Libya, Tunis,
Algeria, Morocco, Israel and Jordan.

Medicago italica is an annual plant growing in sandy habitats along the coastal plain.
It is classified as a threatened red plant due to habitat loss. It survives in
just one region out of the five where it previously grew on the coastal plain.
Its rarity is related to its status as a peripheral species whose primary
distribution extends over the Mediterranean countries north of Israel. A year-round
monitoring system should track the known populations and attempts should be
made to grow it within reserves, together with additional rare coastal plain psammophilous




Heyn, C.C.1963 The annual species of Medicago. Scr. Hierosolymthana, 12:1–154.
אתר אינטרנט:
ILDIS – International Legume Database & Information Service

name of participantsBased on: "The Red Book of Israeli Plants - Threatened Plants in Israel" by Prof. Avi Shmida, Dr. Gadi Pollack and Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir

Current Occupancy Map

Current occupancy map for observations per pixel
1000 squre meter pixel 5000 squre meter pixel 10000 squre meter pixel
number of observations 0 0 0
in total pixels 0 0 0

ClassificationOn the endangered species list
EcosystemCoastal area
Conservation SiteKadima Nature Reserve

Red number
Peripherality N
Threat Definition according to the red book Vulnerable
1 (5) districts
Disjunctiveness: High
4.8% of protected sites

Other Species

Medicago arabica
Globe Medick
Spiny Medick,  Murex Medic
Hairy Canarayflower, Hairy Canary Clover