Department of Natural Resources
white sweet clover Melilotus alba
sweet clover is a biennial or annual herb that grows from fibrous
roots. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Each compound
leaf has three leaflets, which are about one inch in length. Leaflets
are toothed, lance-shaped and smooth or hairy. Stems are upright, branched
and smooth. White flowers are clustered on spikes. A spike may be four
inches long. The five-petaled flowers are attached to a short stalk. The
fruit is a pod which is less than one-sixth inch long and slightly hairy.
White sweet clover may attain a height of two to eight feet. White sweet
clover may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows on bluffs, in old
fields and along roads. Flowers are produced from May through October.
Insects are the main agent of pollination. White sweet clover is a native
of Europe and Asia. It was brought to the United States by European settlers
and has spread tremendously.
Species Photo Gallery | Exotic
Species Intro Page | Wild
About Animals | Wild