Black Medic

Black Medic

Scientific Name – Medicago lupulin L.
Family – Leguminosae
Dark green taprooted annual with a spreading, prostrate growth habit. Leaves alternate, composed of three leaflets on square stems. Leaflets wedge-shaped, as long as broad, toothed near tip, and with a small spur at tip. Produces tight, compressed cluster of bright yellow flowers (10 to 50) at the leaf axils. At maturity, each flower forms a tightly coiled black seed pod. Reproduces by seed. Found throughout the continental United States and Hawaii. Also occurs in Canada, the West Indies, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Common Name: Black medic
Latin Name: Medicago lupulina
Common Family Name: Pea Family = Bean Family
Latin Family Name: Fabaceae = Leguminosae

Other Names: Trefoil, black clover, none-such, hop medic, hop clover.

Origin: Native to eastern Europe and Asia, but now found throughout the United States.

Biology: Usually a summer annual, but occasionally a biennial or a winter annual. Propagation is by seed, and seeds germinate in either fall or early spring.

Identification: A low-growing, trailing plant with stems that may reach over 2 feet in length. A taproot is present. Stems are somewhat square and radiate out from the base, but do not root at the nodes as clovers do. Leaves are divided into 3 leaflets on a short petiole. Leaflets are round and have toothed margins. Flowers are present throughout the late spring and summer, and the flower head is a small, compact inflorescence composed of from 10 to 50 flowers that are bright yellow and very small. These produce black seed pods that remain on the plant after it has died.

Characteristics Important in Control: A common weed in turf, particularly in turf with poor nutrient levels or drought-stricken turf.

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