Skip to content

Spiny Medick, Murex Medic
Medicago murex

4.2 Endangered

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 murex is an annual prostrate plant, 20-30 cm across and 5-10 cm tall. It has trifoliate leaves and leaflets shaped like inverted spikes, serrated at the top. The stipules are thin, connected to the petioles, and have long teeth.

Medicago murex grows in areas of the Sharon and the Philistean Plain as
well as at the foot of Mount Hermon. In the Sharon the species is known
from a number of sites: Caesarea, Ahu Binyamina Nature Reserve, the
Hadera Forest, the Dora Pond Nature Reserve, Hod HaSharon, and the dunes
west of Pardes Hanna. In the Philistean Plain, it is very rare, and has
been collected in recent years only near Netser-Sereni. At the food of
Mount Hermon it has been seen on Nubian sandstone on Mt. Keta. Random
single collections were recorded from mountainous areas – the Upper
Galilee (Kibbutz Yiftah), the Judean Mountains, the Judean Desert (Shekh
Anbar = the Zuher neighborhood on the way to Ma'ale Adumim). This is a
very rare species that usually grows as a singleton (represented by a
single individual).

Medicago murex grows in sandy soils, in sand fields along with Retama and Artemisia, and in hamra-sand with Desmostachya bipinnata. In the isolated mountain sites in which it is found it grows on calcareous rock and soil with no connection to a sandy substrate. At those sites, it grows on roadsides and in sunny scrublands in the Mediterranean region.

• The number of sites where Medicago murex grows is decreasing due to loss of sandy habitats in the Sharon and the Philistean Plain.
• Population densities of M. murex are low, and it does not form large populations, which greatly increases its rarity and threatens its existence in case of habitat loss.
• Its global range is expanding, and it is probably not globally endangered.

Medicago murex sites should be identified in the Dora Pond and Ahu Binyamina areas, where it should be closely monitored. It is simple and possible to populate new locations which include extensive areas of its habitat, and to conduct strict demographic monitoring in these locations.

Medicago murex has a typical Mediterranean distribution: it grows in all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea except for Egypt – from Spain in the west, through Italy and Sicily, down to Turkey and Syria-Lebanon in the east. Its range does not continue further east, but M. murex may be found in Central Europe and the Atlantic coast as a ruderal plant.

Medicago murex is an annual species that grows in the coastal plain in sandy soil. Most of its habitat sites have been destroyed over the past eighty years, and it remains only in a small number of sites where it grows in low densities, mostly as scattered individuals.

Heyn, C.C.1963 The annual species of Medicago. Scr. Herosolymthana, 12:1–154.

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
ChorotypeMediterranean and Euro – Siberian
Conservation SiteDora Pond

Red number
Peripherality N
Threat Definition according to the red book Endangered
5 (5) districts
Disjunctiveness: Medium
0.0% of protected sites

Other Species

Medicago arabica
Globe Medick
Hairy Medick
Hairy Canarayflower, Hairy Canary Clover