Beach wagon (Medicago marina)

The Medicago marina is a plant with a yellow flower

Image - Wikimedia / Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

On the coast we find very resistant plants, which find in this environment a place to live and even flourish. If we take into account that here the wind can blow strongly, and that the air is also loaded with salt, the most common is to find low-lying species, such as the sea ​​medic.

If you have been or live in the Mediterranean region, surely you have seen it at some time. A small plant, with pubescent leaves arising from stems which grow without raising much of the ground.

How is the sea ​​medic?

Marine medicago is a perennial herb

Image - Wikimedia / Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

It is a perennial herb with prostrate stems which can be up to half a meter long. The leaves are trifoliate, which means that they are made up of three green to gray leaflets. Its touch is very soft, since it is covered by very, very short white hairs.

The flowers bloom in spring, and are yellow.. They arise almost at the end of the stems, and they also do so in groups of between 5 and 12. When they are pollinated, the fruits ripen. These are spiral-shaped legumes that measure, at most, 2 centimeters in diameter.

In popular language it is known as beach cart, beach grass, sea clover, or sea dogfish.

Where do you live?

As we mentioned at the beginning, it is an herb native to the Mediterranean. Specific, It lives on the coast, as well as in the sandbanks up to 50 meters of altitude.

It is important to say that it is included in the Red List of the Vascular Flora of Andalusia, in the category of Least Concern.

Does it have any use or property?

The marine medicago is a perennial plant

Image - Wikimedia / Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

La sea ​​medicunlike her sister medicago sativa, known as alfalfa, has no use or ownership. Now, although it is true that it is not the most beautiful plant in the world, it could be very, very interesting to grow it in a garden of wild species near the sea. Its flowers, although small, have a certain ornamental value.

Therefore, if you dare to cultivate it, we recommend you do it in the following way:

  • Siembra: the seeds are sown in spring. It must be done in seedbed trays, placing no more than two in each hole. The substrate to be used can be universal. They are buried a little, and watered.
  • Location: it is important that you give them direct sun, since they will not be able to do well in the shade.
  • Planting in the garden: You can plant them in the ground as soon as the roots come out of the holes in the seed tray. Remember that their stems can measure more or less half a meter long, so the ideal is that you plant them about 55 centimeters from the others.
  • Irrigation: watering will be moderate. You have to water every 2 or 3 days during the summer, and less the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: it will not be necessary, but if you want you can add a little earthworm humus (for sale here!) or compost.

How is it different from medicago sativa or alfalfa?

Alfalfa is different from marine medicago

Image - Flickr / Matt Lavin // Alfalfa

The truth is that they are very different. Our protagonist is a creeping herb, with stems that are about 50 centimeters long, and which is also covered by many white hairs. Alfalfa, on the other hand, is a herb that grows erect or suberect, with an approximate height of 60 centimeters.; and although it can be pubescent, it is not as pubescent as the beach bunting.

On the other hand, we have the flowers: those of the beach runner are yellow, while those of the alfalfa they are lilac

And in terms of uses, alfalfa is used as feed for cattle, but the beach runner, as we have mentioned, has no use.

As you see, the sea ​​medic It is an herb that can be very interesting.

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