E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Melilotus alba Desr.
white sweet-clover
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29869)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Melilotus alba
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.



General:
Annual or biennial herb from a taproot, sweet-scented in drying; stems erect, 0.5-2 m tall, freely branched, fine short-hairy to glabrous.
Leaves:
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 3, oblong-elliptic to egg-shaped, 1-4 cm long, short-hairy to glabrous, the margins fine-toothed to the base; stipules entire or lobed, 5-10 mm long, joined at the base to the leaf stalk.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a slender, spike-like, axillary raceme of 20 to 50 or more pea-like flowers, the racemes 5-20 cm long on stalks from shorter to longer than the leaves; corollas white, 4-5 mm long, the banner longer than the wings; calyces bell-shaped, 2-3.5 mm long, the narrowly lanceolate teeth nearly equal to the tube.
Fruits:
Pods, egg-shaped, somewhat flattened but still plump, nodding, 3-6 mm long, somewhat leathery, glabrous, net-veined, 1-chambered; seeds 1 or 2.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields, roadsides and waste places; common in S half of BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare to the W and N; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Melilotus alba

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 320 749 1449
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
35 210 338
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
D
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
100
Modal BEC Zone Class
BG
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(39), BWBS(3), ICH(9), IDF(34), MS(3), PP(9), SBPS(1)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References