yellow sweet clover

(Melilotus officinalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

yellow sweet clover

NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Weed Status

Invasive

 
 
Nativity

Native to Asia, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.

 
Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Dry. Open, upland areas, prairies, disturbed sites, roadsides. Full sun or partial shade, never full shade.

 
Flowering

Late May to September

 
Flower Color

Yellow

 
Height

1 to 6

 

Identification

This is a 1 to 6 tall, erect, freely branching, biennial forb rising on many stems from a strong taproot. The stems are branching, light green, and hairless. The taller plants tend to be bushy, the shorter plants lanky. In the first year they are small and do not flower. In the second year they are taller, bushy, and produce many flower clusters.

The compound leaves are alternate, hairless and divided into three leaflets.The leaflets are oblanceolate or obovate, ½ to 1 long and up to ¼ wide. They are plain green, finely toothed along the middle and upper margins, the teeth pointed outward rather than forward. The middle leaflet is on a distinct stalk.

The inflorescence is many tall, spike-like clusters of stalked flowers. The clusters are on elongated stems produced in the axils of the middle and upper leaves. The flowering stems are 2 to 6 long. Dozens of small flowers are crowded along the top two thirds of the stem.

The flowers are to long and are attached to the stem with a minute stalk. They droop down but ascend at the tip.

 
Similar
Species

White sweet clover (Melilotus albus) has white flowers. It is usually a little taller than yellow sweet clover. The foliage is grayish-green, not plain green. It blooms 2 to 3 weeks later than yellow sweet clover.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 4, 5, 7, 22.

Comments

Taxonomy
Some authorities consider white sweet clover (Melilotus alba) and yellow sweet clover the same species with differently colored flowers. Most authorities, including Gleason & Cronquist (1991) and Mohlenbrock (2002), treat it as a separate species.


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Trifolieae

 
Synonyms

Melilotus albus

Melilotus albus var. annuus

Melilotus graveolens

Melilotus officinalis f. suaveolens

Melilotus suaveolens

Trifolium officinale

 
Common
Names

field melilot

ribbed melilot

yellow melilot

yellow sweet clover

yellow sweetclover


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.

 

oblanceolate

Reverse lanceolate; much longer than wide, thickest toward the tip, and gradually tapering toward the base.

 

obovate

Reverse egg-shaped, with the attachment at the narrower end.

       

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Inflorescence

  yellow sweet clover   yellow sweet clover
       

Flowers

  yellow sweet clover    
       
       

 

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Slideshows

   
  Melilotus officinalis
Matt Lavin
 
  Melilotus officinalis  
 
About

Introduced taprooted biennial herb, stems often to 1 m tall or taller, leaflet margins serrate at least distally, flowers with yellow petals, pods inconspiuous, with 1 seed, common along roadsides, in fields, grasslands, and rangeland where overgrazed or intentionally seeded, does well where disturbance is regular, although seedlings, but not adults, are common in well managed sagebrush steppe.

 
     

 

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Other Videos

 
  Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus Officinalis) - 2012-06-25
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 27, 2012

De citroengele honingklaver (Melilotus officinalis), ook vaak Akkerhoningklaver genaamd, is een tweejarige- of meerjarige plant uit de vlinderbloemenfamilie (Leguminosae).

 
     
  Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus Officinalis) - 2012-06-11
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 12, 2012

Melilotus officinalis, known as the yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot or common melilot is a species of legume.

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De citroengele honingklaver (Melilotus officinalis), ook vaak Akkerhoningklaver genaamd, is een tweejarige- of meerjarige plant uit de vlinderbloemenfamilie (Leguminosae).

 
     
  Environmental Laboratory - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
EnvLabERDC
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 15, 2013

Melilotus officinalis - Yellow Sweetclover

 
     
  Sweetclover 040412
Marco Peña
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 2, 2012

Agricultural Systems Management Degree in Yuma

Presentation by: Tawnie Guerrero

"Sweetclover"

PLS 300 Weed Science Class

 
     

 

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Afton State Park

Anna Gronseth Prairie

Antelope Valley SNA

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Big Stone Lake State Park

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