Yellow clover

Melilotus officinalis

Melilotus officinalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Trifolieae
Genus: Melilotus
Species: M. officinalis
Binomial name
Melilotus officinalis
(L.) Pall.

Melilotus officinalis

Melilotus officinalis, known as the yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot or common melilot is a species of legume native to Eurasia and introduced in North America, Africa and Australia.


This biennial plant is 2 to 4 feet high at maturity and blooms in spring and summer. Flowers are yellow. Its characteristic sweet odor, intensified by drying, is derived from coumarin. It has a bitter taste.


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 areas it is an invasive species. Common places where it can be found include prairies, abandoned fields, roadsides, and railroad ballasts. It does not tolerate dense shade.

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