Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Melilotus albus
Medik., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Melilotus leucanthus W. D. J. Koch ex DC.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: bai hua cao mu xi

English: Bokhara clover, honey clover, white melilot, white sweet clover

French: mélilot blanc

Japanese: shirobana-shinagawa-hagi

Korean: huinjeondongssari

Spanish: meliloto blanco

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual or short-lived perennial herbs; stems erect, 3-15 (-30) dm long.  Leaflets elliptic to obovate, 10-30 (-40) mm long, 5-20 mm wide, margins serrate, stipules lanceolate, not widened at base, margins not scarious.  Racemes 4-15 cm long; corolla white, 4-5 mm long, standard and wings equal in length, longer than the keel; style 1.7-2.3 mm long.  Pods pale to dark brown at maturity, 3-4 (-5) mm long, strongly reticulate-veined.  Seeds usually 1"  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 686-687).

"Erect annual or biennial up to 2.5 m high; stems almost glabrous or sparsely to moderately hairy in upper parts. Leaves almost glabrous but sparsely hairy when young; petioles c. 5-25 mm long; leaflets oblong- elliptic to obovate, obtuse to acute, mucronate, obtuse to cuneate at base, serrate, c. 10-30 mm long; stipules linear-lanceolate, entire. Racemes lax and slender, up to 25 cm long at fruiting; flowers numerous. Peduncles > petioles. Calyx ± glabrous to sparsely hairy; calyx teeth = or < tube, narrowly triangular. Corolla white, 4-5 mm long; wings ± = keel. Pod glabrous, reticulately veined, 3-5 mm long, 1-2-seeded; seeds light brown, 2-3 mm long"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 667).

Description from Flora of China online.

Habitat/ecology:  "Riparian habitats, grassland, disturbed places.  This herb grows on a wide range of soils and forms dense stands where invasive.  It colonizes disturbed sites and may become dominant, outcompeting native grasses and forbs.  It is nitrogen-fixing and increases soil fertility levels, thereby changing the floristic composition of invaded areas.  Burning facilitates the establishment of this plant in grassland communities"  (Weber, 2003; p. 261).

In Hawai‘i, "apparently uncommon in disturbed sites, 5-1,340 m"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 687).

Propagation:  Seed.  "Seeds are dispersed by water and may remain viable in the soil for more than 20 years"  (Weber, 2003; p. 261).

Native range:  "Native to Europe, widely introduced as a fodder plant" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 687). Northern Africa, Europe, Asia; also cultivated and naturalized (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 686-687)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R. (1995) (p. 20)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Hobdy 2830 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2004) (p. 12)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H110203 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Shannon, Robynn K./Wagner, Warren L. (1996) (p. 14)
Voucher cited: Degener 11095 (US)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 86)
Voucher cited: MacKee 10124
Spontané
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 686-687)
Voucher cited: Herbst & Takeuchi 6363 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"Weed of cultivation and waste places, rarely common. "
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Naturalised
Canada (British Colombia)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 232)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Moist soil in fields, roadsides, wastelands". Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 232)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 185)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 667)
"Dry waste places and cultivated land".
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mascarene Islands
Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, La Reunion, Rodrigues)
Mascarene Islands introduced
invasive
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 261)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 232)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada (except British Colombia)
Canada
Canada (country) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Physical:  "Scattered plants can be hand pulled, most of the root must be removed.  Cutting close to the ground is effective if done before flowering occurs.  Prescribed burning is used to control this plant in North American prairies".

Chemical:  "Effective herbicides are 2,4-D amine, dicamba, or MCPA"  (Weber, 2003; p. 261).


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This page was created on 19 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 21 MAY 2013.