A very rare and ephemeral alien. First collected in 1923 on waste land in Heverlee and near Bredene. Subsequently also on a dump in Austruweel (port of Antwerpen) in 1940. Probably last seen in 1995 on a demolition site of a former military base (with horse artillery) in Gent, along with numerous other grain aliens (doubtlessly germinating from former hay and oat stores) (Verloove & Heyneman 2012).
Medicago murex is very characteristic in having coins with a broad veinless marginal area.
Medicago murex or spiny medick is a plant species of the genus Medicago. It is found throughout the Mediterranean basin.
This plant is useful.
How to get rid of:
Management can be tricky. Of course, because of its toxicity to animals, it cannot be controlled by grazing, as many other weeds can be. There are, in fact, very few natural biological control methods for getting rid of cocklebur weeds.
The most effective methods are hand pulling or chemical controls. They reproduce easily by seed, which are generally dispersed on water.
The seed can lie dormant in the soil for up to three years before ideal conditions cause it to germinate. Yanking out every small seedling as they appear is one option.
Chemical controls take less time. When using herbicides for controlling cocklebur, it is recommended that you use this only as a last resort. Organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.