YELLOW SWEET CLOVER
File Size: 72 KB
 
Melilotus officinalis  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Biennial or sometimes annual
Height: 1-5 feet
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect or ascending, much branched, glabrous to sparsely pubescent.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate, stalked; leaflets oblanceolate to egg-shaped, .4 to 1 inch long, .2 to .8 inch wide, glabrous; margins toothed.
Inflorescences: Raceme, 2 to 6 inches long, spike-like, 30-70-flowered, from leaf axils.
Flowers: Calyces short, bell-shaped, lobes 5, nearly equal; tips pointed; corollas papilionaceous, 1/5 to 1/4 inch long, yellow; stamens 10, 9 united, 1 free.
Fruits: Pods, egg-shaped, 1/10 to 1/5 inch long, glabrous, brown, usually 1-seeded; seeds yellowish brown.
Habitat: Disturbed sites, rangeland, roadsides, waste areas.
Origin: Introduced from Eurasia. Escaped from cultivation to waste places.
Forage Value: Provides fair forage value for livestock and deer but can be toxic to livestock when moldy.
Uses: Sweetclover is sometimes used for forage and soil stabilization. It can become a problem weed because it is one of the first plants to appear on disturbed sites. It is an excellent plant for honey production.
Comments: Yellow sweet clover may be more abundant in some years than in others. Like alfalfa (Medicago sativa), it has a high water consumption rate, and can cause bloat in livestock. The leaves have a vanilla-like odor when crushed.
 See white sweet clover Melilotus alba.

Yellow sweet clover flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
Yellow sweet clover inflorescence
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Riley County, Kansas
Yellow sweet clover flowers and leaf
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Riley County, Kansas
Yellow sweet clover
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Riley County, Kansas
Yellow sweet clover
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Yellow sweet clover
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Mitchell County, Kansas