Scientific Name: Medicago lupulina

Common Name: black medic

Other Common Names: hop clover, hop medic, nonesuch, yellow trefoil

Synonyms: Medicago lupulina L. var. cupaniana, Medicago lupulina L. var. glandulosa

Habit: This plant is a summer annual with a spreading, crawling growing habit. The plant produces a small cluster of bright yellow flowers from May through July. The seeds each come from a kidney shaped, hairy, black pod.

Leaves: Leaves are composed of three wedge-shaped leaflets that are almost elliptic. The leaves are sparsely hairy, and are toothed near the near the tip.

Identifying Characteristics: Once in the ground, the seeds can remain for many years before sprouting.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers sprout in a compressed cluster with as many as 50 individual flowers per cluster.

Seed Fruit: The seeds each come from a kidney shaped, hairy, black pod.

Where Found: This plant prefers compressed soils, such as high traffic areas near sidewalks. It is also common in lawns, open fields, roadsides, and all other types of turf

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Fabaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval; round; triangle

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated; entire

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: trifoliate

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot; rhizomes present

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf