*Medicago lupulina

Family Fabaceae

Black Medic

Short-lived herb to 60 cm high, more or less hairy with 3-foliate leaves. Longevity less than 1 year.

Flowers: Yellow, inflorescence 10 – 50 flowered, April.

Fruit: Kidney shaped pod 2 – 3.5 mm long with one end coiled containing 1 seed.

Seed: Hard seeded with physical dormancy.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Native of of Europe, Asia and North Africa.
  • Weed of grasslands and cultivated ground.
  • Occasional, minor weed at the Australian Botanic Garden.
  • Legumes reported to have nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium nodules on roots.

Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Medicago lupulina plant

Medicago lupulina flower

Medicago lupulina fruit