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Medicago lupulina - L.

Common Name Black Medick
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy places and roadsides[17], often occurring as a garden weed on acid and calcareous soils[1].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa, the Atlantic Islands and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Medicago lupulina Black Medick


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Medicago lupulina Black Medick
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rasbak

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Medicago lupulina is a ANNUAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Cultivated Beds;  Meadow.

Grassy places and roadsides[17], often occurring as a garden weed on acid and calcareous soils[1].

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - cooked[105]. Used as a potherb[183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Seed - cooked[2, 105, 161]. Parched and eaten or ground into a powder[183]. The seed is said to contain trypsin inhibitors[218]. These can interfere with certain enzymes that help in the digestion of proteins, but are normally destroyed if the seed is sprouted first.

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 23.3g; Fat: 3.3g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 24.7g; Ash: 10.3g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 1330mg; Phosphorus: 300mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 450mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 2280mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Lenitive.

Aqueous extracts of the plant have antibacterial properties against micro-organisms[218, 240]. The plant is lenitive[218, 240]. One of our users has sent the following information 'Trypsin inhibitors can be inactivated by the application of heat, for example, boiling for 9 minutes. (Trypsin inhibitors are found in soy). L-canavanine can be destroyed by heat as well. Major saponins in alfalfa but also black medick, known as medicagenic acid and its derivatives, have major antifungal/antimycotic activity that could lend to better medical applications than existing antimycotic drugs that are limited in number and abilities. Medical applications meaning mycoses, which is a consequence of widespread use of immunospuppressive drugs used in transplants, cytotoxic chemotherapy in cancer treatments, broad spectrum antibiotics, recurring mycotic infections in those suffering of AIDS, and a recent hazard of previously agricultural niche saprophyte fungi that are becoming etiological agents and are relatively resistant to conventional therapies.'

Other Uses

Green manure.

A good green manure plant, it is fairly deep rooted, has good resistance to 'Clover rot' but it is not very fast growing[87]. It can be undersown with cereals, succeeding even in a wet season[87].

Cultivation details

Dislikes acid soils[87]. (This conflicts with the notes on its habitat above.) Dislikes shade. A good food plant for many caterpillars[30]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ[200]. The seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. Green manure crops can be sown in situ from early spring until early autumn[87]. (the later sowings are for an over-wintering crop)

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Medicago arboreaMoon Trefoil20
Medicago polymorphaToothed Bur-Clover, Burclover20
Medicago sativaAlfalfa, Yellow alfalfa43

 

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L.

Botanical References

17200

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Subject : Medicago lupulina  
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