Scientific Name:
Melilotus albus Medik., Vorles. Churpfälz. Phys.-Öcon. Ges. 2: 382 ( [1787]) – as alba
  • Melilotus officinalis subsp. albus (Medik.) H.Ohashi & Tateishi (1984)
  • = Melilotus leucanthus W.D.J.Koch ex DC. (1805)
  • = Melilotus albus var. annuus H.S.Coe (1918) – as annua
Vernacular Name(s):
sweet clover

Erect annual or biennial up to 2.5 m high; stems almost glabrous or sparsely to moderately hairy in upper parts. Lvs almost glabrous but sparsely hairy when young; petioles c. 5–25 mm long; leaflets oblong- elliptic to obovate, obtuse to acute, mucronate, obtuse to cuneate at base, serrate, c. 10–30 mm long; stipules linear-lanceolate, entire. Racemes lax and slender, up to 25 cm long at fruiting; fls numerous. Peduncles > petioles. Calyx ± glabrous to sparsely hairy; calyx teeth = or < tube, narrowly triangular. Corolla white, 4–5 mm long; wings ± = keel. Pod glabrous, reticulately veined, 3–5 mm long, 1–2-seeded; seeds light brown, 2–3 mm long.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Sep.–Apr.

Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Medikus, F.K. 1787: Besuch einer neuen Lehrart, die Pflanzen nach zwei Methoden zugleich, nämlich nach der künstlichen und natürlichen, zu ordnen, durch ein Beispiel einer natürlichen Familie erörtert. Vorlesungen der Churpfälzischen physicalisch-öconomischen Gesellschaft. Mannheim 2: 382.