Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Melilotus indicus
annual yellow sweet-clover, small-flowered yellow sweet-clover

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Idaho, Utah, and Nevada, further east across the southern U.S. and in eastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous annual or biennial, the stem up to 1 m. tall, branched above.


Leaves trifoliate, leaflets lanceolate, serrulate only on the upper half.


Inflorescence of several elongate, spike-like racemes 2-8 cm. long arising in the leaf axils, with small, linear bracts; flowers small, pea-like, yellow, 2-3 mm. long; calyx teeth 5, equal, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse.


Pod 2-2.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Melilotus indicus (L.) All.
Publication: Fl. Pedem. 1: 308. 1785.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Melilotus indica (L.) All., orthographic variant [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Melilotus indicus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Melilotus indicus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Melilotus indicus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Melilotus indicus photos.

USDA Plants: Melilotus indicus information.

9 photographs:
Group by