Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Rosids: Fabids: Fabales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
Check out EDDMapS.org to see where this has been reported.
Learn more about Yellow Sweetclover from the Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
The similar M. albus and M. officinalis are apparently incompatible (Isely 1998) and differ in less obvious ways than flower color; they should not be synonymized. To learn other differences, read more in Weakley's Flora (2022)
INCLUDED WITHIN Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
SYNONYMOUS WITH Native & naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the US (Isely, 1998)
SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 098-15-002:
Melilotus officinalis FAMILY Fabaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Yellow Sweetclover, Yellow Melilot, Ribbed Melilot
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Roxanna Martin rlm52009_007
May Spartanburg County SC
M. albus & officinalis are apparently incompatible should not be synonymized, per Weakley's Flora.
JK Marlow s040519_ab
May Greenville County SC
Inflorescence a slender, axillary, pedunculate, spike-like raceme, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
JK Marlow s050622_b
June Greenville County SC
Leaflets mostly oblanceolate to obovate or somewhat elliptic, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
COMPARE leaves that are trifoliolate and pinnately compound
Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
Native & naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the US (Isely, 1998)
Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Habitat: Fields, roadsides, disturbed areas, per Weakley's Flora
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
This plant may be causing problems in natural areas outside its native range, according to authorities such as:
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013
- Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2009
Odd-pinnately compound: 3 leaflets
Leaves are subtended by stipules.
5-parted papilionaceous corolla
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Newcomb, 1977) p058
- Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast (Cotterman, Waitt, & Weakley, 2019) p231
- Wildflowers of the Eastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1999) p032
- Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005) p126
- Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Georgia (Chafin, 2016) p200
- Wildflowers of Tennessee (Carman, 2005) p137
- Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians (Horn, Cathcart, Hemmerly, & Duhl, 2005) p174
- Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains (Smith, 1998) p086
If a search such as "Carex leptalea var. leptalea" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "Carex leptalea".
Or, to minimize chances of a misspelling, try just "Carex le".
Less is more: If "pencil flower" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "pencil".