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Tall Melilot

Melilotus altissima

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Fabales
Family:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
140 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Grassland, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 5 petals
 
Golden yellow flower spikes. The flowers are a shade darker than the similar-looking Ribbed Melilot whose flowers are lemon yellow. The winged petals are similar in length to the inner petals, or keel. In Ribbed Melilot the keels are shorter. The flowers of Tall Melilot are more dense than those of Ribbed Melilot.
Fruit:
Black ridged pods. Despite all of the differences mentioned on this page between the two species, the differences are very subtle and the only sure way to distinguish between them is by the colour of their seed pods. The seed pods of Ribbed Melilot are browner than those of Tall Melilot.
Leaves:
Trefoil leaves with forward pointing toothed leaflets. The stalk of the central leaflet is slightly longer than the stalks of the two outer leaflets. Melilots are biennial plants.
Aroma:
Smells of hay when dry due to a chemical called coumarin. This is the substance responsible for the toxicity of the plant.
Other Names:
Golden Melilot, Tall Yellow Sweetclover, Yellow Medick, Yellow Sweetclover.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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