Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

White Sweet Clover: Melilotus alba

Weed Description:   Biennial legume with compound leaves consisting of 3-leaflets (trifoliolate).   Found throughout the Southern states in fields, roadsides, and waste places.
Leaves:  Trifoliolate leaflets oblong or oblanceolate, 1-2.5 cm long, 8-12 mm wide.  Leaflets without hair above and having appressed hairs below.  Leaflet margins serrated halfway or more back from the apex.
wsweetclover7-3b.jpg (90219 bytes) Fruit:  Legume, dark brown to black at maturity, ovoid, 2.5-4 mm long, without hairs, and cross-ribbed.

Flower:  Small, white, arranged in many-flowered terminal and axillary racemes.

Stems:  Short-pubescent above, without hairs below.

Identifying Characteristics:  Trifoliate leaves with serrated margins halfway or often more back from the apex.  White sweet clover is similar in appearance to yellow sweet clover, but has white flowers and net-veined pods.

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