Black Medick is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in dry grassland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 50cm.
Black Medick gets its name from the colour of its seed and its membership of the genus Medicago (which have trifoliate leaves and clover-like flowers). The flowerheads of Black Medic are composed of a variable number of flowers, but up to about fifty flowers. The sepals, leaves and stems are hairy. Each leaflet has a pointed tooth at its tip.
Botanic classification and naming: Black Medick is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Medicago' identifies the plant as a Medick and its species name 'lupulina' means 'hop-like plant'.
Benefits: Black Medick provides food for caterpillars of moths and butterflies including the Common Blue. It also provides a useful source of nectar for honey production. Black Medick has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil. The plant is therefore sometimes used to help create meadows.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.