BLACK MEDIC, Medicago lupulina L. 1, part of plant in bloom; 2, pod and seed. Annual, biennial, or perennial, reproducing by seed, with shallow taproot. Stems slender, branched, spreading, 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) long. Leaves have 3 leaflets, the center one on a short stalk. Flowers are 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) long, yellow, in dense, globular spikes borne on short branches from the stem. Seed pods black, coiled, with thick walls, each pod containing 1 seed. Seeds yellowish-green, kidney-shaped. Found in lawns, pastures and meadows. Common and objectionable as an impurity in alsike clover seed, sometimes in other legume seeds. Grown for forage, but is small-yielding. Will inoculate soil for alfalfa.