BugwoodWiki Article

yellow sweet-clover
Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam.


Melilotus alba is an annual to biennial herb that can grow from 3-8 ft. (0.9-2.4 m) tall.
Leaves are alternate, trifoliate with petioles up to 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. Leaflets are greyish green, 1 in. (2.5 cm) long and 0.3 in. (0.85 cm) wide, dentate, and oblong to ovate.
Racemes are 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) long. Flowers are small, floppy, tubular at base becoming broader toward outer edges, 0.3 in. (0.85 cm) long with 5 petals. Blooming occurs from summer through fall.
Seed pods are smooth or slightly reticulated, 0.3 in. (0.85 cm) long, terminates in a beak, and contains 1 or 2 seeds.
Ecological Threat
Melilotus alba can be found in prairies, fields, vacant lots, along roadsides, and in waste lands. It is native to Europe and Asia.


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Melilotus

Other System Links

Plants: MEOF
Bayer: MEUOF
GRIN: 24009
ITIS: 26150
NPDN Host: 36529

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
white sweetclover, yellow sweetclover, sweetclover

Related Scientific Names:

Melilotus album Medik.(Misspelling)
Melilotus albus Medikus(Synonym)


Category: Forbs/Herbs