Melilotus officinalis
yellow sweetclover

Melilotus officinalis
Melilotus officinalis
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Melilotus officinalis
Common name: yellow sweetclover
Group: dicot
Family: Fabaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: annual; biennial; perennial
Origin: introduced
Plant height: 3 - 8'
Foliage: erect plant, hairless, alternate leaves, leaves divided into 3 leaflets, finely toothed. Smells like freshly mown hay when crushed or dried.
Flower: yellow flowers in racemes, 2-4" long
Flowering time: late May to late October
Habitat: roadsides, weedy places, disturbed sites
Range in New Jersey: statewide
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. plants yield dye; when dried, foliage is black. Ground seeds used to color and flavor cheese. Medicinal uses. Grown as hay and used as green manure. Alos a source of nectar for honey bees.