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Galega officinalis L.
Family: Fabaceae, Tribe: Faboideae
Common names: goatsrue
Fruit a legume with 2-10 seeds. Seeds oblong to reniform, 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. 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 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.