black medick

(Medicago lupulina)

Conservation Status
black medick
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Black medick is a low annual or biennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a taproot. The stems are sprawling, ascending, or erect, hairy, and 4-angled.

The leaves are alternate and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on short leaf stalks. The leaflets are elliptical to egg-shaped with the attachment at the narrow end, to ¾ long and wide. The terminal leaflet is on a stalk or more long. Leaflet margins are finely-toothed. The tip of each leaflet is notched and bears a small spine. The upper surface is sparsely hairy, the lower surface is hairy.

The inflorescence is many globular, head-like clusters at the end of long, unbranched, leafless, stalks rising from the leaf axils. The stalks are 1 to 4 times longer than the subtending leaves. The flower heads are ¼ to almost ½ across. Each head has 10 to 50 flowers.

The flowers are pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a banner, 2 wings, and a keel formed by two petals fused together at the tip. The keel is smooth, not grooved. The petals are yellow. The individual flowers are stalkless.

The fruit is a black, kidney-shaped seed pod containing a single seed.




8 to 32


Flower Color




Similar Species

  Palmate hop clover (Trifolium aureum) has leaflets without a notch or spine at the tip. The terminal leaflet is attached without a stalk.  

Disturbed sites




May to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.




Native to Asia, Europe, Northern Africa, and the Indian Subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.




Very common

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  


Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae  


  Genus Medicago (medicks)  
  Section Lupularia  

Subordinate Taxa




Medicago lupulina var. cupaniana

Medicago lupulina var. glandulosa

Medicago lupulina var. willdenowii


Common Names


black medic

black medic clover

black medick

hop clover

hop medic



nonesuch clover


yellow trefoil










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    black medick      


    black medick   black medick  


    black medick      



  Black Medic
Wez Smith
  Black Medic  
  Black Medick
  Black Medick  

Copyright DianesDigitals

  Medicago lupulina BLACK MEDICK
Frank Mayfield
  Medicago lupulina BLACK MEDICK  



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Afton State Park

Antelope Valley SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Stone NWR

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blazing Star Prairie

Blazing Star Prairie Addition Preserve, South Unit

Blue Mounds State Park

Boot Lake SNA

Buffalo River State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Bur Oak WMA

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Cambria WMA

Camden State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Rock SNA

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Felton WMA

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hayes Lake State Park

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie

Kasota Prairie SNA

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Langhei Prairie SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR, Rapids Lake Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, South Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Spieker Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Old Mill State Park

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

P.N. and G.M. Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary

Phelps Lake WMA

Pilot Knob

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Prairie Coteau SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Quarry Park SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake State Park

Richard M. & Mathilde Rice Elliott SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seven Sisters Prairie

Seven Springs WMA

Sibley State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Prairie Preserve

Springbrook Nature Center

Swedes Forest SNA

Tiedemann WMA

Town Hall Prairie

Tribute WMA

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Tympanuchus Prairie

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Wild Indigo SNA

Wild River State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA







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