Black medic

June 5, 2015

Medicago lupulina L. Fabaceae (Legume family)

Life cycle

Prostrate, trailing summer annual.

black medic plant
Black medic plant.


Alternate, compound – with three oval to eggshaped 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, multibranched 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, cloverlike 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).



Print a PDF of this page: Black medic

Back to identifying field weeds.

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at