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Short, often sprawling plant with a compact head of bright yellow flowers and clover-like leaves. It can be distinguished from lesser and hop trefoil by its seed pods which are black and coiled when ripe and not buried within the dead flowers, and from other common medicks by the absence of spines on the pods. Black medick is a procumbent annual, biennial or short-lived perennial. It is native in grassy places and rough ground. It is prevalent in disturbed habitats and is a common weed in fields and gardens, including lawns. Black medick has a preference for fine textured, poorly-drained soils, low in organic matter with a pH from 6.5 to 7.8. It occurs in low vegetation that is cut or grazed.
In the past, black medick was chiefly found in temporary leys where it was introduced as a contaminant of the grass and clover seed. It was considered a useful plant on dry chalky soils and was often deliberately included in seed mixtures. However, as an annual it soon dies out leaving bare patches. It has been regarded as a valuable herbage plant and mixtures have been sown containing a high proportion of black medick but these were not popular in Britain. It has been cultivated as a green fodder for livestock, a green manure and as a hay crop. Black medick is grazed by sheep and has been introduced as a legume in sheep pasture.
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Habitat; Black medick is a native winter green annual or short lived perennial. It is characteristic of relatively disturbed, infertile sites on neutral or calcareous soils and is particularly adapted to south facing slopes where its long tap root allows it to exploit water resources unavailable to other species. Habitats include dry grasslands, pastures, road banks, waste places and even walls.
Black medick requires a degree of disturbance if it is to persist and can tolerate grazing or frequent cutting. It will be lost if vegetation is allowed to grow rank but its seed can remain viable in the soil for several years and it can reappear if more intensive management is reintroduced.
Growing; Probably best sown in the autumn. In common with many members of the pea family, Black medick seed exhibits hard-coat dormancy. If it is important to have the maximum germination rate in the shortest period of time you could try a light scarification.