Black medic

Medicago lupulina L

Life cycle

Prostrate, trailing summer annual.

black medic plant
Black medic plant.


Alternate, compound – with three oval to egg-shaped leaflets – hairless to sparsely hairy, shallowly toothed along the upper half and tipped with a small point. The central leaflet is found on a definite stalk; the two lateral leaflets are nearly stalkless. A pair of stipules is present at the base of each petiole.

black medic leaf
Black medic leaf.


Prostrate, trailing to ascending stems are wiry, usually hairy, multi-branched from the base and up to 2 feet long.

black medic stipule
Black medic stipule.

Flowers and fruit

Numerous, very small, yellow flowers are formed in dense, mostly globe-shaped, clover-like clusters. Fruit are clusters of black, coiled, kidney- to bean-shaped, one-seeded pods.

black medic flower black medic fruit
Black medic flower (left). Black medic fruit (right).



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