Medicago lupulina L.

Family: Fabaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

black medick

Primary Disseminule Types

fruit (with or without attached calyx), seed

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit an indehiscent single-seeded pod, reniform, 2–3 mm long, black at maturity, glabrous to hairy, surface prominently veined with widely-separated, tall ridges, with persistent calyx.

Seed oval to barely reniform in outline with a distinct peripheral notch near one end (one end of the notch protrudes), somewhat compressed, cross-section ovate, shallow whitish grooves on either face of the seed mark the separation of radicle from cotyledons (the radicle side is slightly smaller and thinner), 1.2–2 mm long x 0.9–1.5 mm wide x 0.6–0.9 mm thick. Surface dull, smooth (granular under magnification), yellowish-brown with green and orange tinges, with a darkened area over the tips of the cotyledons (“lens”).

Hilum in notch, round, ca. 0.1 mm diameter, whitish with a slit-like opening near its center.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)