Medicago Species, Black Medick, Bur Medic, Burclover

Medicago polymorpha

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Medicago (med-DIK-ah-go) (Info)
Species: polymorpha (pol-ee-MOR-fuh) (Info)
Synonym:Medicago apiculata
Synonym:Medicago denticulata
Synonym:Medicago hispida
Synonym:Medicago lappacea
Synonym:Medicago nigra




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Winter

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Aptos, California

Berkeley, California

Oak Park, California

Austin, Texas

Clute, Texas

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 22, 2013, Siirenias from Oak Park, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant has hidden merits.

When young, this plant makes a rather tasty pot herb. Pull in early Summer, before it has time to bloom (and the stems are still soft and green). Cook up like mustard greens; it has similar chemical properties. Good source of vitamins, with a light green taste...And it's free.

This plant, like many legumes, is also a nitrogen fixer. When this annual grows all over, it's also putting the nitrogen back where the garden can take advantage of it.


On Jun 20, 2009, eagle10 from Aptos, CA wrote:

This weed is difficult to eliminate. The burrs stick in my dog's coat, feet, face-hair. I am concerned that it could get inside the long ears. I am searching for a solution other than pulling because it is almost impossible to pull before it matures enough to produce the burrs.


On Apr 8, 2007, spidra from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

One of my garden banes. It sprawls, blocking light from other plants. The burrs on the seeds make sure they get everywhere. It's a very successful plant. Whether that's desirable or not depends on how much you like the plant. At least it isn't as ugly as Sow Thistle is...


On Jan 5, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Spread throughout the southwestern U.S. and tropical Americas.


On Nov 18, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This is a weed that will grow barbed seedpods that look round and are a twisted spiral. These will get in the fur of your dog or cat and can end up entering the skin if not removed. If you have these in your yard, you need to get rid of them. Remove them and collect each little seed pod and destroy them. Even very small plants that look like cute little clovers will grow the seed pods.