yellow sweet-clover USDA PLANTS Symbol: MEOF
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Fabales: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonym(s): white sweetclover, yellow sweetclover, sweetclover
Native Range: Asia, Europe, Eurasia (); Eurasia (BAIL)

Yellow sweetclover is an annual to short-lived perennial herb native to Eurasia. Plants can grow to approximately 6 ½ 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 ¼ 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

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s); in flower
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
University of Alaska - Anchorage Archive, University of Alaska - Anchorage, 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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Flower(s);
Jamie Nielsen, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative Extension Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Sweetclover - left; alfalfa - right
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Pedro Tenorio-Lezama, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Jamie Nielsen, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative Extension Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);  in flower
Wendy VanDyk Evans, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Bonnie Million, National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); net-veined pods
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service, 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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Seed(s); Close-up of hilar region.
D. Walters and C. Southwick, USDA, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); Seeds positioned on one of their faces with hilar notch pointing up. Note shallow, pale groove running from the hilum towards narrow end of the seed. Radicle is on the right.
D. Walters and C. Southwick, USDA, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia)
Chiricahua National Monument (Arizona)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Craters of the Moon National Monument (Idaho)
Death Valley National Park (California)
Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Haleakala National Park (Hawaii)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)
Lake Mead National Park (Nevada)
Redwood National Park (California)
Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)



Invasive Listing Sources:
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Faith Campbell, 1998
Forest Service-Alaska, 2004
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009