Melilotus indicus (L.) All.

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)

sourclover, Indian sweetclover

Primary Disseminule Types

fruit (with or without attached calyx), seed

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit an indehiscent 1–2-seeded pod, ovoid to globose, apex acute and beaked, 2–3(4) mm long, glabrous, light reddish-brown at maturity, surface reticulately veined or bumpy, on reflexed stalk, with persistent calyx.

Seed elliptic to ovate in outline with a shallow, oblique peripheral notch near one end, somewhat compressed, cross-section elliptic to ovate, shallow (and often darkened) grooves on either face of the seed mark the separation of radicle from cotyledons (the radicle side is slightly smaller and thinner), 1.5–2.3 mm long x 1.4–1.6 mm wide x 0.9–1.1 mm thick. Surface dull, rough (covered with round to elongated papillae, sometimes forming short ridges), greenish-, yellowish- or orangish-brown, with a dark spot (“lens”) over the tips of the cotyledons.

Hilum in notch, round, ca. 0.1 mm diameter, lighter-colored than testa with a round to 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)