Family: Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Melilotus officinalis

Common Name: Yellow Sweet Clover

DescriptionA large growing, sweet smelling, non-native plant. Considered to be an invasive weed by many people.
Plant TypeAll Plants, Weeds
Soil & Siteroad sides, open ditches, disturbed areas, waste places, almost anywhere
Flowerssmall white pea-like flowers are bore on 2-4" racemes. Have a scent of vanilla. Can be an annual or biennial
Leavessmall, toothless leaflets are elongated, 3 part and sweet smelling when dry, scent comes from coumarin a fragrant organic compound, physically the plant is airy and bush-like plants.
DimensionsI have walked through patches of Yellow Sweet Clove that were way over my head ( I am 5'7"). Listed as 3-6' tall.
Misc FactsImported from Europe to be used as hay. Now it has become invasive. Was dried and hung in the house to sweeten the rooms. Also used to flavor tobacco products. Milolotus is Greek for honey, referring to the plants scent.
Author's NotesWeak breezes will carry the scent. The vanilla smell becomes stronger if the plant is brushed. I have noticed that this plant is most aggressive in disturbed sites. As the site succeeds to other vegetation the Sweet Clovers will tend to become less dominant.
Notes & Reference#07- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Lawrence Newcomb), #14-Hedge maids and Fairy Candles (Jack Sanders), #41-Wildflowers of Wisconsin (Stan Tekiela), #49-The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers (Timothy Coffey)
Cart Image


Go To All Plants

Your Cart is Empty!