Melilotus indica (L.) All.

1783 (4). M. indica (L.) All., Fl. Pedem. I (1785) 308; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. I (1926) 846; Hansen, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 149; Trifolium melilotusindicus L., Sp. PI. ed. 1 (1753) 765; Melilotus parviflora Desf., Fl. Atl. II (1799) 192; Стоян. Стеф., Фл. Бълг. изд. I, II (1925) 633 — Индийска комунига

Fam:   Leguminosae Juss. (Fabaceae)
Genus:   Melilotus Mill.
Species: Melilotus indica (L.) All.
English Name: Sweet clover,  Indian sweet-clover, …


Annual plant. Stems erect or ascending, branched from the base, 15.0 - 30.0 (40.0) cm high, at the top short-fitting fiber. Stipule lance, shorter than petiole, tunicates, the base expanded, those at the lower leaves at the base with 1 - 2 teeth. The upper leaves equal to the bract stems, lower longer. Leaflets (8.0) 12.0 - 15.0 (18.0) mm long and (4.0) 6.0 - 8.0 (10.0) mm broad, unclear meshwork, often with feathery streaks. Top naked, below thin lying in fiber, those of upper leaves of most1/2 - 2/3 more or less vague serrated, wedge back ovate, upper wedge line extended to wedge; the stem of the middle leaflet (4) 8 - 10 (15) times the length of the petiole, the stems of the side 2 - 3 times shorter than the middle. Inflorescence 0.5 - 2.0 cm long, with 10 to many flowers, in pods greatly extended. Bracts linear, shorter than flower stems. Flower stems horizontally diverted. Calyx 1/3 - 1/2 of the length of the corolla, bell-shaped, dispersed fibrous or less goals; the teeth of the tube or equal to 2 times shorter than it, triangular lanceolate. Corolla 2.0 - 3.0 mm long, yellow or pale yellow. Flag 2.0 - 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, back ovate to triangular, on top entire, longer than the wings and equal to the keel. Wings with elliptical leaf blade, slightly longer than the nail. Keel blunt, leaf blades longer than the nail. Beans 1.5 - 3.0 mm long, at maturity yellow brown, almost spherical, scratch the surface cross curved streaks, at maturity with a network of cells suspended. The seeds single, rarely 2, 1.5 - 2.0 mm long, short ovoid, yellow-green to brown; scar 1/4 - 1/3 the circumference of the seed.
From „Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976)

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Melilotus indicus, sometimes incorrectly written Melilotus indica, is a yellow-flowered herb native to northern Africa, Europe and Asia, but naturalized throughout the rest of the world.
Common names in English include sweet clover (or sweet-clover), sour clover (sour-clover, sourclover), Indian sweet-clover, annual yellow sweetclover, Bokhara clover, small-flowered sweet clover, common melilot, small-flowered melilot, small melilot, sweet melilot, Californian lucerne and Hexham scent. In Australia and New Zealand, where it is naturalised, it is sometimes called King Island melilot or King Island clover.[1][2][3]


It is an annual or biennial herb from 10 to 50 centimetres (4-20 inches) in height (rarely to one metre), with yellow flowers.[4]Similar to Melilotus altissima Thuill. in general. The flowers are 2 - 3 mm long they produces a hairless pod of similar length.[5]


It was first published as Trifolium indicum by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 Species plantarum. It was transferred into Melilotus by Carlo Allioni in 1785.[6]

Distribution and habitat

It has a wide native distribution, ranging from Macaronesia and northern Africa, through Europe, and into temperate and tropical Asia. It is naturalised throughout most of the rest of the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, South America, Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Uses and economic importance

It is used as a source of nectar for bees, as forage, and as a soil improver. It is also used in folk medicine. It is poisonous to some mammals, and is a potential seed crop contaminant.[1]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - V, fruitful: V - VI.

References: „Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: Grow in the grassy places like weeds in cereals. Sofia Region (Sofia, Boyana, Gorna Banya, Dragalevci) Struma valley to 300 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Southeast Europe, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Southwest Asia, Central and Indo-Himalayan region. Introduced in North America and Australia.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

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