Black medic Medicago lupulina L.
Family: Fabiaceae (Bean family)
Life cycle: Annual
Habitat: Poorly managed turf; waste areas.
Native status: Introduced
General description: Prostrate growth habit forming mats 2 to 3 ft in diameter. Leaves with three elliptic leaflets, margins of leaf end with very small teeth. Leaflets up to ¾ in long. Small, yellow flowers occur in ball-shaped cluster; at maturity the pods form cluster of black fruit.
Key ID traits: Trifoliate leaves with small teeth on margins; clusters of small yellow flowers turning to black pods.
Similar species: Yellow woodsorrel has a similar growth habit, but leaflets are heart-shaped and yellowish green.
Miscellaneous: Introduced from Eurasia for use as forage and nitrogen fixation.