yellow sweetclover

Fabales > Fabaceae > Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam.
Synonym(s): yellow sweet-clover

Yellow sweetclover is an annual to short-lived perennial herb native to Eurasia. Plants can grow to approximately 6.5 ft. (2 m) in height and can sometimes be woody at the base. Leaves are ovate to oblong, entire, stipulate and 0.4-1 in. (1-2.5 cm) long. Flowering occurs from April to September, when yellow, pea-like flowers develop in a branched inflorescence at the tips of the flowering stems. Flowers are less than 0.25 in. (7 mm) long. Fruits are small, circular, wrinkled and light brown pods that contain one seed (rarely 2). Plants occur along roadsides, in open fields, pastures and other disturbed areas. Yellow sweet clover was introduced into North America as a forage crop in the 1900s.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage;
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);  in flower
Wendy VanDyk Evans, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); side view of whole plant in typical habitat
Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; in flower
Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); in flower
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Kentucky - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia