Yellow Sweet Clover

Melilotus officinalis

Description 4

Sweetclover is an annual or biennial plant in the pea family that can grow 2 m tall but is usually less than 1 m. It rapidly colonizes gravelly well-drained soils such as roadsides, waste areas and river banks and bars. A single plant can produce 300,000 seeds and the seeds remain viable in the soil or under water for many years (80% survival after 30 years). This is likely Yukon’s most invasive and problematic species. It is planted in agricultural areas to increase soil nitrogen.

Range in Yukon 4

Currently only in a restricted area in southern Yukon.

Similar Species 4

White Sweetclover (Melilotus albus), the white coloured relative, is widespread throughout southern Yukon, more abundant than its cousin.

Ecological Impact 4

Control 4

Plants should be pulled or cut before or during flowering. First-year plants may re-grow and can be cut again. Pulling or cutting will have to be repeated over a number of years to deplete the seed bank. If mature seed is not present, plants can be left where they are pulled. The plants quickly die once removed from the soil.

For more information visit: Yukon Invasive Species Council

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) José María Escolano, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Melanie Shaw, some rights reserved (CC BY-ND),
  3. (c) Andrey Zharkikh, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  4. (c) L.G. Johanson, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

Range Map

iNatCA Map

Plant Pea Family (Fabaceae)
Color yellow