Wildflower Wednesday: White Sweet Clover


Common Name: White Sweet Clover

Scientific Name: Melilotus alba

Habitat & Range: sunny fields, shorelines, and roadsides

Bloom Time: spring, summer, and fall

About: If you ever walk along the shore of a lake in Michigan, it’s likely you’ve smelled an evocative mixture of sand and water and plant life that creates a permanent memory. It’s also likely that part of this smell cocktail will be White Sweet Clover, a member of the pea family. It’s a non-native plant once grown as a hay crop but, of course, it has escaped and can now be found everywhere. Just like the White Clover, it’s an important nectar source and nearly impossible to eradicate as the seeds can lie dormant for years and can germinate as far as seven inches down into the ground. But hey, at least it smells nice. It also comes in yellow.

Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000