Melilotus indicus

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Melilotus indicus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Melilotus
Species: M. indicus
Binomial name
Melilotus indicus
(L.) All.
Varieties

M. indicus var. indicus
M. indicus var. tommasinii

Synonyms

Melilotus parviflorus Desf.
Melilotus tommasinii Jord.
Trifolium indicum L.

Melilotus indicus - MHNT

Melilotus indicus, sometimes incorrectly written Melilotus indica, is a yellow-flowered herb native to northern Africa, Europe and Asia, but naturalized throughout the rest of the world.

Common names in English include sweet clover (or sweet-clover), sour clover (sour-clover, sourclover), Indian sweet-clover, annual yellow sweetclover, Bokhara clover, small-flowered sweet clover, common melilot, small-flowered melilot, small melilot, sweet melilot, Californian lucerne and Hexham scent. In Australia and New Zealand, where it is naturalised, it is sometimes called King Island melilot or King Island clover.[1][2][3]

Description[edit]

It is an annual or biennial herb from 10 to 50 centimetres in height (rarely to one metre), with yellow flowers.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

It was first published as Trifolium indicum by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 Species plantarum. It was transferred into Melilotus by Carlo Allioni in 1785.[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It has a wide native distribution, ranging from Macaronesia and northern Africa, through Europe, and into temperate and tropical Asia. It is naturalised throughout most of the rest of the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, South America, Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Uses and economic importance[edit]

It is used as a source of nectar for bees, as forage, and as a soil improver. It is also used in folk medicine. It is poisonous to some mammals, and is a potential seed crop contaminant.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Melilotus indicus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) online database. 
  2. ^ "Melilotus". Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  3. ^ "Melilotus indicus". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Melilotus indicus (L.) All.". FloraBase. Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Western Australia. 
  5. ^ "Melilotus indicus (L.) All.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 

External links[edit]