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Willow Dells Tr - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Melilotus alba - White sweet clover

Synonyms: Melilotus arvensis, M. leucanthus, M. lutea
Other Common Names: sweet clover
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Fabaceae

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Willow Dells Tr
Trifoliate leaf
Willow Dells Tr
Plant - summer
Willow Dells Tr
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Biennial   Similar Species: Melilotus officinalis
General Desc: A tall, widely branched and leafy plant with tiny white pea flowers in numerous spikes. It grows from a long taproot. White sweetclover was first introduced into North America in 1664 as a forage crop.
Height: 2 - 10 feet


Habitat Description: A weed along roadsides, riverbanks and old fields where soil has been disturbed. It often forms dense patches. It grows in full sun or partial shade, but cannot tolerate dense shade. It prefers calcareous, loamy soils.
Plant Communities: Semidesert Grasslands, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jul - Sep
Description: Elongated flower clusters can be 1-1/2 - 5 inches long. Individual flowers are less than 1/4 inch long.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green, grayish-green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Round or Oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves trifoliate (3 leaflets). Leaflets have hairs on their lower surface and are finely toothed.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Black   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Seed pods are 3/8 inch long and usually 1 seed.
Seed Notes: Seeds are ovoid, leathery, and wrinkled.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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