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Forage Identification: White sweetclover

Department of Plant Sciences

White sweetclover (Melilotus Medik.)

Biennial legume. Adapted to soils with moderate to excellent drainage and do well on alkaline, but not acid soils. They are drought tolerant and exceptionally winter hardy.

White sweetclover

Growth Habitat:
Biennial, erect, coarse stems, 24 to 84 inches tall. Leaflets serrated margins. Deep taproot.

White sweetclover flowers

Plant Characteristics:
Pinnately compound leaves with three leaflets. Leaflets are smooth and serrated around the entire margin. Smaller leaves than Yellow sweetclover. Inflorescence is a raceme with white flowers.

Seed Characteristics:
Mitt shaped. Greenish-yellow color.

White sweetclover seeds

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Pinnately compound leaves with 3 leaflets per leaf. Long racemes bearing white florets.

Primary Uses:
Pasture, hay and silage. excellent nitrogen fixers and often are used as green manure crops.

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