Medicago is a genus of flowering plants, commonly known as medick or burclover, in thelegume family. It contains at least 87 species and is distributed mainly around the Mediterranean basin. The best-known member of the genus is alfalfa (M. sativa), an important forage crop, and the genus name is based on the Latin name for that plant,medica, from Greek: μηδική (πόα) median (grass). Most members of the genus are low, creeping herbs, resembling clover, but with burs (hence the common name). However, alfalfa grows to a height of 1 meter, and tree medick (M. arborea) is a shrub. Members of the genus are known to produce bioactive compounds such as medicarpin (a flavonoid) and medicagenic acid (a triterpenoid saponin). Chromosome numbers in Medicago range from 2n = 14 to 48.
|Medicago granadensis bur|
|Trifolium sp. (clover)|
Clover or trefoil are common names for plants of the genus Trifolium (Latin, tres "three" + folium"leaf"), consisting of about 300 species of plants in the leguminous pea family Fabaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution; the highest diversity is found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, but many species also occur in South America and Africa, including at high altitudes on mountains in the tropics. They are small annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herbaceousplants. Clover can be evergreen. The leaves are trifoliate (rarely quatrefoiled, cinquefoil, or septfoil), with stipules adnate to the leaf-stalk, and heads or dense spikes of small red, purple, white, or yellow flowers; the small, few-seeded pods are enclosed in the calyx. Other closely related genera often called clovers include Melilotus (sweet clover) and Medicago (alfalfa or 'cavalry clover').