Black medick is a creeping low lying wildflower with tiny clover like yellow flowers. It is native in grassy places and rough ground, this particular plant was growing in the cracks of a pavement.
Black medick has small (2–3 mm) yellow flowers grouped in tight bunches. On larger plants the flower heads may reach 8 mm or more.
The fruit is a single-seeded pod, 1.5 to 3 mm in diameter, that does not open upon maturation, but hardens and turns black when ripe. Each pod contains a single amber-coloured seed.
The leaves are hairy and grow in threes with the middle leaf longest. The three leaves grow together and have a short stem connecting them to the plant.
Black Medick is native to Europe, North Africa and the Near East an most of Asia.
Due to its successful spread it is now found in central Asia, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and much of South America.
Black Medick is a hardy plant (an H7 on the RHS hardiness scale) and can grow in a variety of soil conditions. However it grows best in sand, loam, or clay containing soils.
It is resistant to cold and can be found at high altitudes.
Black Medick will not grow in shade and needs at least partial sun to thrive.
It can be found in sand dunes where it has less competition from other plants. Its mat forming ability and long tap root help to hold it in place. It is known as a pioneer plant as it often the first to grow in disturbed soil.
Black medick is a good source of nectar for bees to make honey.
It is frequently found in natural pastures, and may be planted in order to create artificial meadows, especially on dryer land.
The presence of black medick in large concentrations as a lawn weed may indicate that the soil is poor in nitrogen. The root nodules in black medick and other clovers fix nitrogen in the soil which improves the soil over time.
The leaves of black medic can be used as a pot-herb, they’re cooked and eaten just the same as most salad greens. The leaves can be eaten raw
The seeds are said to have been used by Native Americans to make flour. More recently it has been found that some of the constituents of the seeds interfere with digestion of proteins. This problem can be solved by sprouting the seeds first then eating them.
Every 100g black medic leaves contain around 23g of protein and around 25g of fiber, making this herb an amazing source of protein and fiber. Due to its fiber contents, this herb can help promote a healthy digestion system. This plant also has a mild laxative effect, making it a great natural remedy for constipation.