Medicago marina Linnaeus, 1753

Medicago marina imageSynonyms: None

Common names: Engl: Sea alfalfa; Bulg: Morska lyutserna; Rom: Lucerna (marina); Russ: Lyutserna primorskaya; Ukr: Lyutserna prymors'ka



Taxonomic descriptions: It is a perennial white-tomentose herb with procumbent stems; leaflets are obovate, 5-7 mm long, dentate on the tip; stipules are ovate, acute, smooth edged; flowers are yellow, 6-8 mm long, in densely flowered racemes; beans are spiral, 3-twisted, 5-6 mm in diameter, prickly.

Medicago marina arealIUCN Status:
††† World level: NE
††† Black Sea Regional level: NE
††† Subregion level: CR in Ukraine


Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Coastal sands and shingles. Critical habitats: Sevastopol and Evpatoria areas and Tarkhankut Cape (the only localities in the Crimea). Limiting factors: probably, the low level of competition ability in coastal plant communities and the stenotopic nature of the species.

Biology: Bloom - from May to June; fruitage - from July to August; a deep tap root system; propagation - by seed and vegetatively (by long rhizomes). The species is a euxerophyte and halophyte.

Population trends: The species is declining in abundance.

Threats: The re-making of the coast into a resort zone.

Conservation measures taken: Special measures are absent as a whole.

Conservation measures proposed: The species needs to be monitored in the Black Sea region; the creation of Tarkhankut natural reservation.


  1. Vulff, E.W., 1960. Flora Kryma. Tom 2, N2. (Flora of the Crimea. Vol.2, N2). Moscow: Sel'khozgiz, 312 pp., (in Russian).
  2. Davis P.H. 1965-1985. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Vols.1-9. - Edinburgh at the University Press.
  3. Rubtsov, N.I. (ed.), 1972. Opredelitelí vysshikh rasteniy Kryma. (Identification Book of the Crimean Higher Plants). Leningrad: Nauka, 550 pp., (in Russian).
  4. Luks, Y.A., Privalova, L.A., and Kryukova, I.V., 1976. Katalog redkikh, ischezayushchikh i unichtozhaemykh rasteniy flory Kryma, rekomenduyemykh dlya zapovednoy okhrany. 1976. (Catalogue of Rare, Disappearing and Exterminative Crimean Flora Plants Recommended for Protection). Yalta: GNBS, 24 pp., (in Russian).
  5. Fyodorov, A.A. (Ed.), 1987. Flora yevropeiskoy chasti SSSR. Tom 6. (Flora of the European Part of the USSR. Vol. 6). Leningrad: Nauka, 254 pp., (in Russian).
  6. Kryukova , I.V., Luks, Yu.A., Privalova, L.A., et al., 1988. Redkiye rasteniya i zhivotnyye Kryma. (Rare Plants and Animals of the Crimea). Simferopol: Tavria, 176 pp., (in Russian).
  7. Golubev, V.N., 1996. Biologicheskaya flora Kryma. (Biological Flora of the Crimea). Yalta: GNBS, 86 pp., (in Russian).
  8. Shelyag-Sosonko, Yu.R. (ed.), 1996. Chervona Knyga Ukrayiny. (The Red Data Book of Ukraine). Kyiv: Ukrayins'ka Entzyklopediya, 608 pp., (in Ukrainian).
  9. Yena, A.V., 1997. Nekotoryye itogi izucheniya pribrezhnoy flory Kryma. (Some results of the investigation of the Crimean coastal flora). In: Proc. of the Crimean Agricultural State University, Simferopol: Tavriya, p. 200-204, (in Russian).

Compiled by: A.Yena