Black medic (Medicago lupulina) in the lawn is often mistaken for clover. The difference is that black medic produces yellow flowers while clover has pinkish to whitish blooms. It is often found in lawns that are suffering from soil compaction which is not conducive to good turfgrass growth. The grass thins out and weeds like black medic move in to fill the void.

Although in its native lands of Eurasia and Northern Africa, it is a perennial, black medic is short-lived in the lawn. Therefore, it generally needs to reseed itself each year in a more annual type life cycle. It can germinate in either spring or fall.

Other common names include hop clover, hop medic, nonesuch, yellow trefoil.


As with most lawn weeds, the best control is to grow a healthy, vigorous turfgrass. A good layer of mulch such as shredded bark or wood chips will help manage weeds in the bed or border.

If cultural options do not provide enough control, several herbicides are also labeled for this weed, however, this one falls under the "difficult to control" lawn weeds and may be tough to eliminate.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


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