Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Melilotus indicus
(L.) All., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Melilotus parviflorus Desf.; Trifolium indicum L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: yin du cao mu xi

English: annual yellow sweetclover, California lucerne, Hexham-scent, Hexham-scent melilot, Indian sweet-clover, King Island melilot, King Island melilot, King Island-clover, small melilot, sour-clover

French: mélilot de l' Inde, mélilot des Indes

Japanese: ko-shinagawa-hagi

Spanish: carretón oloroso

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual herbs; stems erect or ascending, 1-5 dm long.  Leaflets oblong-elliptic, elliptic, or obovate, (4-) 15-20 mm long, (3-) 7-10 mm wide, margins serrate, stipules lanceolate, widened at base and often with an additional lobe, margins scarious.  Racemes 2.5-5 cm long; corolla yellow to pale yellow, 2-3 mm long, wings and keel equal in length, shorter than the standard; style 0.7-1.2 mm long.  Pods pale gray when young, yellowish or reddish at maturity, 1.5-2 (-3) mm long, strongly reticulate-veined.  Seed usually 1"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 687).

"Erect or ascending annual up to 0.6 m high; stems ± glabrous or sparsely hairy in upper parts. Leaves usually ± glabrous, sometimes sparsely or moderately hairy particularly when young; petioles c. 5-25 mm long; leaflets elliptic to obovate, usually obtuse, sometimes slightly emarginate or acute, usually shortly mucronate, obtuse to cuneate at base, serrate, c. 6-25 mm long; stipules lanceolate, entire or obscurely dentate at base. Racemes slender, dense at flowering and sometimes at fruiting but often elongated up to 12 cm at fruiting; flowers (10)-numerous. Peduncles usually > petioles. Calyx ± glabrous or sparsely hairy; calyx teeth > tube, subulate. Corolla yellow, becoming white with age, 2-3 mm long; wings ± = keel. Pod glabrous, reticulately veined, 2-3-(4) mm long, 1-2-seeded; seeds light brown, 1.5-2 mm long"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 667).

Description from Flora of China online.

Habitat/ecology:  "Grassland, freshwater wetlands, riparian habitats, coastal beaches. This plant is invasive because it rapidly colonizes suitable sites and builds up dense stands that reduce native species richness.  The plant is nitrogen-fixing and increases soil fertility levels.  Little is known on the ecology of this plant where invasive"  (Weber, 2003; p. 262).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in dry, disturbed areas, primarily along roadsides, 2-2,855 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 687).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Native from the Mediterranean region and southwestern Europe to India" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 687); 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
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 19)
"Probably introduced with fodder plants, although reputedly poisonous to stock". Voucher cited: J. Pickard 2729 (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 9)
"Probably introduced with fodder plants, although reputedly poisonous to stock". Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 325 (CHR); G. Uhe 1148 (K); R.M. Laing (CHR); 1898, I. Robinson (NSW); 1902, J.H. Maiden & amp; J.L. Boorman (NSW)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 219)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 555)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 219)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 555)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Santa Clara introduced
invasive
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 219)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Santa Clara introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Santa Clara introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 555)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Morro Juanango introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 555)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 687)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 687)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 687)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 687)
Voucher cited: Forbes s.n. (BISH)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 86)
Vouchers cited: Déméné in MacKee 17592, MacKee 29470
Spontané
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 687)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-10)
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)
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
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., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 232-233)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Open places, alkaline soil in meadows, roadsides". Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 185)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
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, most common in coastal areas".
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Open places, alkaline soil in meadows, roadsides".
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 232-233)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
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., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Control:  The methods as for Melilotus albus may apply (Weber, 2003; p. 262).


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