Sweetclover - Melilotsu alba
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White and yellow sweetclover are very similar, differing primarily in
flower color. They are annual or biennial herbs with erect branched stems
0.5-2 m tall, glabrous to sparsely pubescent. The compound leaves have
3 toothed leaflets which are oblanceolate to lanceolate or oblong. The
numerous white or yellow pealike flowers occur in racemes in the axils
of the upper leaves. The pods are obovate or ovoid 2-5 mm long, slightly
compressed to nearly globose, 1-4 seeded, usually indehiscent.
The sweetclovers in the first season of growth produce vegetative shoots
which may reach 30 cm. During the second season flowering shoots emerge
and rapidly elongate, and plants may attain a height of 2 m. The two species
have spread from cultivation and thrive in waste places, roadsides, pastures,
and prairies. The plants easily invade open areas outcompeting and displacing
desirable native species.
Links to more information
Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers