Black Medick

March 17th, 2012

Latin:  Medicago lupulina

Irish:  Dúmheidic


Black Medick is a soft, hairy annual, or short-lived perennial, with a very prostrate growth habit and with stems that never grow more than 50cm along the ground.

This species is regarded by some as the true shamrock but the consensus would appear to lie elsewhere.  As far back as 1893, the famous Irish botanist, Nathaniel Colgan asked people from all overIrelandto send him “genuine Shamrock”.  He identified those samples that were sent to him and his results showed 51% Yellow Clover, 34% White Clover, 6% Red Clover and only 6% Black Medick.  A similar experiment in 1988 gave results that were almost identical.

A four-leafed shamrock is considered to be very lucky, mainly because of it’s rarity – only about 1 in 10,000 plants will naturally mutate to produce a four leaf clover.

Folklore provides an alternative explanation that the four-leafed shamrock grows where a mare has dropped her first foal.

Another interpretation of four-leaf-clover is that one leaf stands for faith, another for hope, the third for love and the last for luck.

Like the clovers, the leaves of Black Medick have three leaflets but they have a very short, sharp projection at the tip of the leaflet.

Black Medick grows at many locations around the course but is very visible around the lake at the 1st tee box and in the Builder’s Paddock.

Leave a Reply