Nov. 19, 2021

white sweet clover, Melilotus albus

Sweet clover is another of the Eurasian nitrogen fixers that were brought here about half a millennium ago. Once a popular forage and nectar crop, it has mostly given way to alfalfa and clover. Almost too bad, a newly mown field sure does smell sweet. You might occasionally get a whiff along a newly mown roadside. But it isn't all good. It's presence changes edaphic conditions, and prepares the way for even more invaders. Because of that, sweet clovers are considered invasive. Fortunately, they mostly stick to disturbed areas. They are annuals and don't germinate well in competition with well established perennial cover. Some authorities lump these plants together with yellow sweet clover, as M. officinalis. White sweet clover is present in all fifty states, all provinces of Canada, and on GL and SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 6/9/21. Bean family, Fabaceae.