Melilotus albus Medik.

Family: Fabaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

white sweetclover

Primary Disseminule Types

fruit (with or without attached calyx), seed

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit an indehiscent or tardily dehiscent 1–2-seeded pod, ovoid, apex acute and beaked, 2.5–4(5) mm long, glabrous, dark brown to black at maturity, surface reticulately veined, on reflexed stalk, with persistent calyx.

Seed irregularly triangular-ovate in outline with a distinct, oblique peripheral notch near one end, somewhat compressed, cross-section ovate to bilobal due to shallow (and sometimes pale) grooves on either face of the seed which mark the separation of radicle from cotyledons (the radicle side is smaller and thinner), 1.8–2.2(3) mm long x 1.3–1.8 mm wide x 1–1.1 mm thick. Surface dull, smooth to sparsely covered with low papillae, yellowish-green, yellow, tan or orange, with a bilobal darkened area (“lens”) over the tips of the cotyledons and a smaller dark spot over the tip of the radicle.

Hilum in notch, round, ca. 0.1 mm diameter, whitish with a slit-like opening near its center.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)