Scientific Name: Medicago lupulina
Common Names: Black Medick, Black Medic, Black Medic Clover, Hop Clover, Hop Medic, Nonesuch, Yellow Trefoil
Duration: Annual, Perennial
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized forage and honey bee plant is native to North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Mountain, Riparian. This weedy plant grows along lakes and creeks and in lawns, fields, pastures, disturbed areas, and mountain forests.
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer
Height: Up to 2 feet (61 cm) long
Description: There are 10 to 20 or more small, yellow, pea-like flowers in each dense, rounded, axillary raceme (inflorescence). The flowers are followed by tiny, black, kidney-shaped, one-seeded fruits with concentric veins and no prickles. The clover-like leaves are alternate, hairy, and trifoliate with 3 green, toothed, egg-shaped leaflets. The stems are hairy, well-branched, and prostrate, decumbent, or ascending.
The similar Little Bur-clover (Medicago minima) and Burclover (Medicago polymorpha) have 6 or fewer flowers per raceme and prickly fruit.
Allergenic – The flower pollen is a moderate allergen.
Edible – If cooked, the leaves and seeds are edible.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Medicago L. – alfalfa
Species: Medicago lupulina L. – black medick
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