Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Medicago lupulina
hop clover, black medic

Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Washington; widely distributed throughout much of North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, lawns, wastelots, and other disturbed areas, often on sandy or gravelly soil.

Flowers: April-August

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, flies, butterflies


Finely villous annual, the stems 1-4 dm. long, decumbent to erect.


Leaves trifoliate, leaflets elliptic-obovate, 0.5-2 cm. long; stipules entire to shallowly fine-toothed,


Inflorescence a dense, spike-like raceme 0.5-1 cm. long, the peduncles arising in the leaf axils; flowers pea-like, 10-40, yellow, 2-3 mm. long, the banner erect, much longer than the wings and keel; calyx nearly as long as the corolla, the 5 equal teeth longer than the tube.


Pod 1-seeded, 2-3 mm. long, curved almost in a spiral, turning black at maturity.

Accepted Name:
Medicago lupulina L.
Publication: Fl. Carniol. (ed. 2) 2: 88. 1772.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Medicago lupulina L. var. cupaniana (Guss.) Boiss.
Medicago lupulina L. var. glandulosa Neilr.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Medicago lupulina in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Medicago lupulina checklist entry

OregonFlora: Medicago lupulina information

E-Flora BC: Medicago lupulina atlas page

CalPhotos: Medicago lupulina photos

35 photographs:
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