Tall Melilot - Melilotus altissimus

Alternative names
Yellow Medick and as Golden Melilot.

Medium to tall hairless plant to 1.5 metres, stems erect and branched. Leaves oblong, sharply toothed, stipules slender, untoothed. Flowers yellow, 5 to 7 mm long, in many-flowered racemes, the wings equalling the keel. Pod oval, 5 to 6 mm, hairy and net veined, black when ripe with a persistent style.

Similar Species

Ribbed Melilot (Melilotus officinalis)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

The keel (lowest petal) is about equal in length to the wings (side petals) and standard (top petal).  Fruits black and hairy when ripe

Recording advice

A photo of the plant in its habitat, plus a side on view of flowers, or fruits.


Damp habitats, woodland margins, roadsides.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History

Biennial or short lived perennial.

UK Status

Widespread and quite common in England south of the Tyne, scarcer in the south west of England, Wales and Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 93 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map