Medicago lupulina L.

Black Medic

Sp. Pl. 779 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Prostrate or ascending annual or short-lived perennial herb; stems to c. 100 cm long, sparsely or densely hairy; hairs glandular and simple. Leaflets obovate or orbicular, 4–25 mm long, 4–20 mm wide, serrulate especially towards apex, upper surface sparsely to densely hairy when young, lower surface appressed-hairy, apex rounded or retuse with a terminal tooth; stipules to c. 15 mm long, entire or dentate, lower surface hairy. Inflorescence 10–50-fiowered; peduncle 1.5–5 cm long, much longer than subtending petiole. Pedicels to c. 1 mm long; calyx 1–2 mm long, teeth unequal, upper ones longer than tube, lower ones shorter than tube; corolla yellow; standard 2–2.5 mm long; wings slightly longer than keel. Pod reniform, 2–3 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, distal end slightly coiled, sparsely hairy, spineless, black, veins prominent, reticulate; seed single, 1.5–2 mm long, brown. Flowers mainly Oct.–Apr.

*Brid, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *OtP, *OtR, *SnM, *Strz, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW (including Lord Howe Is.), Tas., New Zealand and many other temperate parts of the world. Native to Europe, north Africa, Asia. Scattered widely across southern Victoria where found in moist situations in pastures, disturbed ground and along road verges.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-12-21
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Medicago
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Medicago lupulina in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Medicago lupulina in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present introduced
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Monaro Tablelands present introduced
Snowy Mountains present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory