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 are absent on trefoils.
The flowers are very similar to those of lesser trefoil. 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 leaves and stems of the plant, thus weakening it.
Black medic can be controlled using a selective weed killer, a single application is usually enough.
Black medic images
Recommended herbicides for the control of black medic
Professional products (All operators must be trained and certificated in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product)
- ICL Enforcer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- ICL Praxys (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, Fluosulam)
- Hysward-P (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Mascot Greenor (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores and do not require any training or certification for use and application.)
- Verdone extra (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
- Resolva lawn weed killer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, MCPA, Dicamba)
- Weedol lawn weed killer (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)