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Ribbed Melilot

Melilotus officinalis

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:
150 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, grassland, roadsides, wasteland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 5 petals
 
Lemon yellow spikes of pea-like flowers. The almost identical Tall Melilot is said to have golden-coloured flowers but they are very difficult to tell apart by the flowers alone. Ribbed Melilot is said to have a shorter inner petal in comparison with the outer ones. Tall Melilot has equal sized petals. Ribbed Melilot is also said to have a less dense flower spike.
Fruit:
Pea-like seed pod which typically contains 1 seed per pod. The only reliable way to separate Ribbed Melilot from Tall Melilot is by it's seed pods. Tall Melilot has black, hairy seed pods, and Ribbed Melilot has olive green, hairless seed pods.
Leaves:
Alternate, pinnate leaves, divided into 3 leaflets. Leaflets are oblong to obovate with serrated margins. Each of the leaves have 2 stipules at their leaf bases.
Aroma:
Smells sweet when in flower.
Other Names:
Bokhara Clover, Common Melilot, Field Melilot, Hart's Clover, Hart's Tree, Hay Flower, Honey Clover, King's-crown, Kumoniga, Plaster Clover, Sweet Clover, Sweet Lucerne, Wild Laburnum, Yellow Melilot, Yellow Millet, Yellow Sweet-clover.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map