Ribbed Melilot - Melilotus officinalis


Medium to tall hairless plant to 2.5 metres tall with spreading to erect stems. Flowers yellow, 4 to 7 mm, in slender lax racemes, the wings longer than the keel. Glabrous seeds.

Similar Species

Similar to Tall Melilot. The main difference is that Tall Melilot has black, hairy seed pods, whereas the seed pods of Ribbed Melilot are olive-green and hairless. Ribbed Melilot also has the flower wings longer than the keel but in Tall Melilot they are of equal length.

Photo ID?

A weed of rough waste ground, but sometimes on cultivated land, and preferring heavier soils.

When to see it

July to September.

Life History

Annual or perennial.

UK Status

Widespread in England south of the Tyne, but rarer in the west.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 107 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map