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Medicago lupulina L.
Medicago lupulina subsp willdenowiana (WDJ Koch) Soják

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Fabaceae   Medicago

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Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina
Medicago lupulina
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2115 · 3
Medicago lupulina

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Cicadellidae  Empoasca bifurcata @ III (2)

Empoasca erigeron @ III (3)

Empoasca sativae @ III (1)

Empoasca solana @ III (1)
Halictidae  Lasioglossum ( @ PN- (1)

Lasioglossum ruidosense @ BBSL (1)
Syrphidae  Toxomerus geminatus @ MLSB__N16- (1)

Toxomerus marginatus @ MLSB__N16- (2)
_  Anthomyiidae @ PN- (3)

Aphididae @ PN- (1)

Arachnida @ PN- (1)

Calliphoridae @ PN- (1)

Chloropidae @ PN- (1)

Cicadellidae @ PN- (5)

Culicidae @ PN- (1)

Diptera @ PN- (6)

Drosophilidae @ PN- (3)

Lonchopteridae @ PN- (1)

Milichiidae? @ PN- (1)

Miridae @ PN- (1)

Nabidae @ PN- (1)

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Following modified from Flora of Taiwan, National Taiwan University
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Following modified from MIssouriPlants.com
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Medicago lupulina L.

Medicago lupulina plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - To 45cm tall but typically less, erect to ascending, multiple from base, branching, from a taproot, typically purple at the base and on stems that face the sun, pilose, herbaceous, 4-angled.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate, trifoliolate. Stipules large, foliaceous, generally ovate, acuminate, to 1.5cm long, 5mm broad, glabrous adaxially, pilose abaxially, with 1-2 pointed lobes at the base or not. Petioles to +3cm long, sparse pilose. Lateral leaflets with petiolules to 1mm long and pilose. Petiolule of terminal leaflet to 4mm long. Leaflets elliptic to obovate or rhombic, entire or shallow serrate or sinuate in the apical 1/2, emarginate at the apex and with a short mucro. Lateral veins parallel. Blades sparse pilose adaxially, pilose abaxially.

Medicago lupulina leaves

Medicago lupulina stipule Stipule.

Inflorescence - Axillary pedunculate racemes. Peduncle longer then the subtending leaf and pubescent as the stem, some hairs glandular. Raceme to 1cm long, dense in flower. Each flower subtended by a single minute bract. Bract linear, -1mm long. Pedicels to -1mm long in fruit, pilose.

Flowers - Corolla yellow, papilionaceous, to 5mm long. Standard to 3mm broad, mostly glabrous, typically with apical margins revolute. Keels apically fused. Wings connate basally to keels. Stamens diadelphous. Anthers pale yellow, to .1mm broad. Ovary green, glabrous, +1mm long, compressed. Style short, green. Calyx 5-lobed. Lobes attenuate, the longest to 1mm long, pilose externally, glabrous internally. Fruits dark brown to black when mature, reniform or cochleate, 3-4mm long, 2mm broad, compressed, sparse pilose, reticulate.

Medicago lupulina flowers Flowers.

Medicago lupulina fruits Fruits.

Flowering - February - December.

Habitat - Lawns, fields, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Eurasia and Africa.

Other info. - This little species is a big time weed found throughout Missouri. The plant spreads easily and can form large colonies when left untouched. The small fruits of this plant turn black when ripened and look like small kidneys.

Photographs taken in Ellington, MO., 6-3-01, and in Gainesville, FL., 2-11-03.


Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Plantae  
 Phylum Magnoliophyta  
 Class Magnoliopsida  
 Order Fabales  
 Family Fabaceae  
 Genus Medicago  
  Medicago lupulina    L., 1753 
Provider: Ching-I Peng 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Medicago appenina Medicago cupaniana Medicago lupulina cupaniana Medicago lupulina eurasiatica Medicago lupulina glandulosa Medicago wildenowii   details
Citation: Flora of Taiwan 2nd ed. 3: 332, 1993; 台灣入侵及外來種圖鑑, 林業試驗所 2005
Name Code: 203183
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Following modified from Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture
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http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MELU ---> https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MELU
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MELU ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MELU
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MELU ---> https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MELU
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You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Medicago lupulina L.
black medick

Image of Medicago lupulina

General Information
Symbol: MELU
Group: Dicot
Family: Fabaceae
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : AK   I
GL   I
HI   I
L48   I
PB   I
Other Common Names: nonesuch
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Medicago thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species . West Region, Sacramento. Provided by USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute (WSI). Usage Requirements .

Patrick J. Alexander. Usage Requirements .

Patrick J. Alexander. Usage Requirements .

©Elaine Haug. Provided by Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany . United States, VA, Woodbridge, Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge. Usage Requirements .

©Jim Stasz. United States, MD. Usage Requirements .

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 351. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .

USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Provided by NRCS National Wetland Team . Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name
MELUC Medicago lupulina L. var. cupaniana (Guss.) Boiss.
MELUG Medicago lupulina L. var. glandulosa Neilr.


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae – Pea family
Genus Medicago L. – alfalfa
Species Medicago lupulina L. – black medick

Subordinate Taxa

The Plants Database includes the following 1 subspecies of Medicago lupulina . Click below on a thumbnail map or name for subspecies profiles. Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend Distribution of <i>
Medicago lupulina</i>
L. var. <i>
Medicago lupulina var. willdenowii

Legal Status

U.S. Weed Information
Medicago lupulina black medic hop clover hop medic nonesuch yellow trefoil This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.
KY Haragan, P.D.. 1991. Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: a field guide . The University Press of Kentucky. Lexington, Kentucky.
N'EAST Uva, R.H., J.C. Neal,and J.M. DiTomaso. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast . Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.
NE&GP Stubbendieck, J., G.Y. Friisoe,and M.R. Bolick. 1994. Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains . Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. Lincoln, Nebraska.
SWSS Southern Weed Science Society. 1998. Weeds of the United States and Canada. CD-ROM . Southern Weed Science Society. Champaign, Illinois.
WSWS Whitson, T.D. (ed.) et al.. 1996. Weeds of the West . Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming.

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Top Level Regions
Hawaii UPL
North America
Alaska FAC
Arid West FAC
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain UPL
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont FACU
Great Plains FACU
Midwest FACU
Northcentral & Northeast FACU
Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast FACU

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (MELU)
CalPhotos (MELU)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (MELU)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (MELUC)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (MELUG)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (MELU)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (MELU)
University of Tennessee Herbarium (Distribution) (MELU)
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium (MELU)
Related Websites
Cover crops database at the UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) (MELU)
Managing Cover Crops Profitably (Sustainable Agriculture Network) (MELU)
UC Davis, IPM: abstract & images (MELU)
Virginia: abstract & image (MELU)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Yarrow Minor Minor Minor


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Yarrow, G.K., and D.T. Yarrow. 1999. Managing wildlife . Sweet Water Press. Birmingham.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover

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Following modified from CalPhotos
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina+ssp.+cupaniana&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina+ssp.+cupaniana&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant
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Following modified from CalPhotos
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant
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Following modified from CalPhotos
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina+var.+glandulosa&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Medicago+lupulina+var.+glandulosa&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant
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Updated: 2018-04-23 19:24:26 gmt
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