Melilotus officinalis Lam.


» yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot, common melilot

Morphology / Appearance

Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Character recognition:

Plant: annual or biennial species; up to 2.3 m in height;
Root: rhizomatous;
Stem: freely branched above, hairless or with sparse, fine, flat, stiff, very short hairs;
Leaves: alternate, divided into 3 leaflets, elliptic to oblanceolate or oblong, 1.5-3 cm long, with small, sharp teeth almost to the base, almost hairless to finely flat-short-hairy. Terminal leaflet with short stalk. Stipules linear, partially joined to the leaf stalk
Flowers: racemes; yellow, 4-6 mm long, numerous in tall, narrow clusters, 3-10 cm long, from leaf axils. Calyx teeth almost equal, narrowly lance- to awl-shaped. 
Fruits: seed pods are smooth or slightly reticulated, 0.85 cm long, terminates in a beak, and contains 1 or 2 seeds.

Confusion: [...]

Melilotus officinalis
© 2012. Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Copyright photo © C. Simion ::: 2012 - IASI ::: Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Ecology / Plant spreading

Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Bloom time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Flower color: yellow
Plant type: perennial
Light: Sun
Propagation Material: Seeds

Common melilot is a species of legume native to Eurasia and introduced in North America, Africa and Australia.

Common places where it can be found include prairies, abandoned fields, roadsides, and railroad ballasts.


Melilotus officinalis Lam.

Cultivation / Plant breeding

Melilotus officinalis Lam.

This plant is very common as it can adapt itself to various soils (but especially likes alkaline soils) and climates. It is resistant to drought and has abundant seed production. In some habitats it is an invasive species. It does not tolerate dense shade.

Seed - sow spring to mid-summer in situ. Germination will usually take place within 2 weeks.


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Articles about Melilotus officinalis Lam.
Culinary / Use food. Use Medicinal / Herbal medicine / Use Ornamental