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  Yellow sweet clover  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
yellow sweet clover Melilotus officinalis


Yellow sweet clover is an annual herb. Its leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Each leaf is divided into three leaflets. The oblong leaflets may be up to one inch long. Stems are upright, branched and smooth. Yellow, tubelike flowers are borne in thin spikes. Each flower has five petals. The fruit is a pod containing seeds. Yellow sweet clover may attain a height of two to seven feet.

Yellow sweet clover maybe found throughout Illinois. It grows at the edges of fields and along roads. Flowers are produced from June through September. Yellow sweet clover is a native of Europe that was brought to this country by early European settlers and has spread tremendously.

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