Black Medic - Medicago lupulina in album plants

In Albums:plants

Photo of black medic, a small, clover-like plant with three leaves, showing a few small clusters of tiny yellow flowers

May 26th, 2002, by Alex Zorach

This photograph shows black medic, sometimes spelled black medick, Medicago lupulina. This plant is a small clover-like legume, that is a nitrogen fixer. Note the leaves with three leaflets, and the much longer stem on the center leaflet. Note also the very plain, flat, featureless texture of the leaflets, the larger size of the center leaflet, and the rounded diamond shape to the leafelets.

This plant is also easily identified by its tiny clusters of miniscule yellow flowers. After the plant blooms, these will grow into somewhat larger seedheads of black seeds, about the size of sesame seeds; these explain the "black" in the plant's name. The seeds are edible and can be made into flour, although they are so small that they are usually not practical as a food source.