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Medicago lupulina  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: Prostrate
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Also Called: Black medick, yellow trefoil.
Stems: Prostrate or ascending, often much branched at base, 2 to 32 inches long, nearly smooth to soft- or finely-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate; stalks up to 1.2 inches long; stipules lanceolate to ovate, entire or toothed, united to stalk for 1/4 to 1/2 of length; leaflets elliptic, egg-shaped, rhombic, or oblong wedge-shaped, 1/5 to 4/5 inch long, sparsely to densely hairy, margins minutely toothed in upper 1/2, tips rounded to notched and usually with short, abrupt points
Inflorescences: Racemes, 8- to 50-flowered, spherical to short-cylindric, 1/4 to 2/5 inch long, on stalks 1-4 times longer than leaves.
Flowers: Papilionaceous, about 1/10 inch long, yellow or cream; stamens 10, in 2 groups.
Fruits: Pods, less than 1/8 inch long, curved, kidney-shaped, black at maturity; seed 1, 1/12 inch long, olive, brown or black.
Habitat: Lawns, waste places, roadsides, stream valleys, pastures, fields, and prairie ravines.
Distribution: Principally east 2/3 of Kansas.
Origin: Introduced from Eurasia, now naturalized.
Reproduction: The seeds can remain viable in the soil for years.
Forage Value: Black medic is palatable to livestock and has fair forage value, but is generally not considered a good forage. Will cause bloat if over-consumed.
Uses: Deer eat the leaves, and game birds the seeds. Sometimes planted for soil improvement.
Comments: Black medic can be a problem weed in lawns.

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