Galega officinalis L.
Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Faboideae
Fruit a dehiscent legume with 2–10 seeds. Seeds oblong to reniform, umbo absent, 3–4.5 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, 1.2–1.5 mm thick, with an oblique furrow on each face extending from hilar area. Cross sectional outline elliptic to oblong. Testa smooth, dull to faintly glossy, green, yellow to reddish-brown. Pleurogram absent. Hilum marginal, +/– recessed, round, with a hilar groove (faboid split). Lens a mound. Embryo bent, cotyledons ca. twice as long as radicle; endosperm present.
Seed distinctive. Resembles alfalfa (Medicago sativa) but is much larger.
most of Europe, Western Asia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, New Zealand, and United States
native to much of Europe, Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria, and Morocco
adapted to acid soil; wet, marshy areas, open meadows; a weed of cropland, pastures, roadsides, waterways
Galega officinalis is a perennial herb, 0.4–1.5 m tall. It was introduced to Utah as a possible forage plant, but was unsuccessful and has since infested many acres there. The stems and leaves contain a poisonous alkaloid, galegin, that makes it unpalatable to livestock, and toxic in large quantities. Because of this, it can reduce forage area. Propagation is by seeds, which are spread mainly by water.