Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis)

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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis) -

(Yellow Sweet Clover - 01)  This is a small patch of yellow sweet clover, a member of the pea family, that is growing up through the blue shale rip-rap along the the shore of Sleepy Hollow Lake.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 01a)  The flowers of the yellow sweet clover grow on long narrow racemes, stem-like structures which arise from the leaf axils, or the connection where the leaves and stem join.  The finely toothed pinnate leaflets grow alternately in threes along the stem.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 02)  Each of these yellow sweet clover flowers is only about 1/4 inch wide.  The more we observe the myriad of details and beauty in God's creation, the more appreciation we have of it, and of our need to protect it.  Our respect and compassion for one aspect of creation should lead us to have respect and compassion for the rest of creation, whether human, animal, or our environment.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 03)  In this photo, we can see the finely toothed edges of the leaflets.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 04)  We spotted these yellow sweet clover wildflowers growing along the side of the road, where they had to compete with other plants for sunlight.  In such cases, they can grow to heights of five feet.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 04a)  In this photo, we can see several racemes branching out from the leaf axils.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 05)  In this photo, we're looking down at the top of a yellow sweet clover plant.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 05a)  This is a close-up view of the new growth of yellow sweet clover racemes, as they branch out from the top of the wildflower.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 06)  This is another patch of yellow sweet clover that was growing along the roadside.  The young leaves can be added to a salad to add some variety, and even the older leaves can be used as cooked greens.  In the past, young shoots were eaten like asparagus, and the pea-like seeds were used in soups and stews.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 07)  Yellow sweet clover has also been used medicinally.  If the plants are gathered and allowed to rot (ferment), an anticoagulant, dicoumarin, is produced.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 08)  Typically, we spot yellow sweet clover growing among many other plants along the edge of roadways, paths, and bodies of water, such as the one on the right of this photo, which can be identified by its leaf structure.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 09)  A single cluster of yellow sweet clover flowers hang down from a branch on the sparsely leafed plant.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 09a)  In this photo of yellow sweet clover, we can see the narrow grooving on the main and branched flower stem.  The flowers are just beginning to open.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 10)  This is a photo of a single branching raceme of a yellow sweet clover plant.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 10a)  This is a closer look at the flowering raceme of the yellow sweet clover.  Normally, we would expect the see the flowers opening progressively from the bottom to the top of the raceme.  In this case the flowers in the middle of the raceme have bloomed first.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 11)  This is a photo of the top of a yellow sweet clover plant, which can grow as high as 5 feet where it is competing with other plants for light and space, but normally it is shorter.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 11a)  This is a closer look at the top of a yellow sweet clover with several racemes developing at the top.  We can also see the various stages of development from tiny new sprouts, to elongated racemes with green buds, to yellow blooms beginning to open.


(Yellow Sweet Clover - 12)  This is another yellow sweet clover that is just beginning to bloom.


| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman

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2001-2008 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link .

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