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White Sweet Clover

Melilotus albus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melilotus (mel-il-LOW-tus) (Info)
Species: albus (AL-bus) (Info)




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall


Grown for foliage

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Palmyra, Illinois

Benton, Kentucky

Erie, Michigan

Berkshire, New York

Troy, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 20, 2006, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

An excellent biannual for addig nitrogen. Very good forage for bees. Usuable for hay, but more woody than Yellow Sweet Clover.


On Jun 13, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Widespread usage as pasture, hay and cover crops has allowed this lovely plant to escape into the wild. It's a polite weed that does not tend to choke out it's neighbors and bees and insects adore it.

Widly used for honey production, and useful for adding nitrogen to the soil, it is one of the good guys you see along the roadsides.