Toxic Parts:
glycosides, dicoumarol
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
meadows, haybales

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Sweet clover distribution - United States

Related Species

Sweet Clover

Melilotus officinalis

Yellow Sweet Clover, Yellow Melilot, Ribbed Melilot
3/ 10
Sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) is an annual or biennial, erect or decumbent herb with trifoliate leaves. During its first year of growth, it produces a single stem with several branches. In the second year, it increases the number of stems, grows and begins producing flowers and seeds. M. officinalis has course stems with 3-pinnate leaves and axillary flowers. Leaflets are small, pea-like clusters of yellow to white flowers which bloom April to October in North America. M. officinalis is indigenous to central Europe and north-west Asia. However, it has been introduced to temperate regions worldwide.

Toxic components
All parts of M. officinalis contain coumarin, which is able to convert to dicoumarin, the active principle in Warfarin, a powerful anticoagulant toxin, when the plant spoils or gets damaged. Poisoning causes similar symptoms as whats seen in cases of anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning.