Plant Image
Flower head
Willow Lake - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Medicago lupulina - black medic

Other Common Names: nonesuch, hop medic
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Fabaceae

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Flower head
Willow Lake
Sue Smith
Willow Lake
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Lake
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Low trailing annual with prostrate stems branching from the base. Bright yellow flowers are pea-like and tightly clustered together on short spikes. A native of Eurasia that is a nuisance in lawns and gardens.
Identification notes: Fruit pods kidney-shaped, hairy, not spined. This differentiates it from the spiny pods of M. hispida. The central leaflet has a longer stalk than the side leaflets; there is a small projecting tip at the leaflet apex and the margins are toothed.
Height: To 2 feet long


Habitat Description: Roadsides, fields, lawns and waste areas.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 2500 - 9000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - Sep
Description: The flowers are bright yellow and pea-like to 1/8 inch long and are clustered together on short, dense roundish spikes to 3/4 inch long. They are followed by tiny, 1-seeded, kidney-shaped pods, to 1/8 inch long.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are dark green and divided into 3 oval leaflets which are finely toothed and have prominent veins. There is a small, projecting tip at the leaflet apex. The central leaflet is on a short stalk. The leaves are to 1 inch long including the stalk.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Black   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: The pods are hairy and contain one seed.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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