Black medic is an annual or biennial weed, it is very similar in appearance to lesser trefoil (yellow suckling clover). They are so similar, that it is sometimes very difficult to tell them apart. However, black medic is usually confined to unmanaged turf, it is rarely a major concern in fine turf.
The leaves have three small clover like leaflets, almost identical to lesser trefoil. The only difference is black medic leaflets sometimes have pointed tips at the end of the leaflets, which is absent on trefoils.
Again very much alike lesser trefoil flowers. They form as small yellow balls and can be seen between June and October.
Black medic is very common on dry soils that are lacking in nutrition.
- Hand weeding can prove effective, taking care to remove the whole plant.
- Maintain good turf health with proper feeding and irrigate during times of drought.
- Raking the weed into an upright position prior to cutting the lawn will help remove parts of the plant and weaken it.
Black medic can be controlled using a selective weed killer, a single application is usually enough.