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Yellow sp.- Melilotus officinalis White sp.- Melilotus alba Pea Family

Key identifying traits

Biology and ecology

  • An annual, winter annual, or biennial plant reproducing by seeds

  • Native to Europe & Asia and now commonly found along road sides and waste areas in U.S.

  • One of the first plants to appear on a disturbed site

  • It is a plant favored by honey producers but it is known to cause bloating in cattle

  • It has been used for soil stabilization and bird habitat but is not recommended due to its aggressive nature


Prevention – Learn to identify plants; start monitoring early in the season

Biological – No known biological control in our area

Cultural – Plant competitive grass or other cover crops

Mechanical – Mowing before seed is produced will help but will not effectively kill existing plants. Many internet sites claim prescribed burning is good control

Chemical –the PNW Weed Management handbook does not have it listed as a problem weed but other sources list mixtures with either triclopyr, dicamba or clopyralid will work on sweet clover

Where found – Widely scattered throughout the county along driveways, roads and disturbed areas.

Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board, January 2010

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