Yellow Sweet-clover (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Yellow sweet-clover (Melilotus officinalis) is cultivated and naturalized across most of Canada. When cut for feed, molding usually occurs because of the succulent stems. The molds can metabolize coumarin which is hydrolyzed from a plant glycoside. Dicoumarol is produced, which is toxic to animals. See notes under white sweet-clover (Melilotus alba).

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • McDonald, G. K. 1980. Moldy sweetclover poisoning in a horse. Can. Vet. J., 21: 250-251.
  • Radostits, O. M., Searcy, G. P., Mitchall, K. G. 1980. Moldy sweetclover poisoning in cattle. Can. Vet. J., 21: 155-158.
  • Turkington, R. A., Cavers, P. B., Rempel, E. 1978. The biology of Canadian weeds. 29. Melilotus alba Desr. and M. officinalis (L.) Lam. Can. J. Plant Sci., 58: 523-537.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam.
Vernacular name(s):
yellow sweet-clover
Scientific family name:
Leguminosae
Vernacular family name:
pea

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Melilotus officinalis

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

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Toxic parts:

  • leaves
  • stems

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

A glycoside, melilotoside, hydrolyzes to coumarin. Coumarin is metabolized by molds into dicoumarol, which interrupts vitamin K use in animals. Blood-clotting abilities are affected. See additional notes under white sweet-clover (Melilotus alba).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • dicoumarol
  • melilotoside

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

See notes under white sweet-clover (Melilotus alba).

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Radostits, O. M., Searcy, G. P., Mitchall, K. G. 1980. Moldy sweetclover poisoning in cattle. Can. Vet. J., 21: 155-158.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

See notes under white sweet-clover (Melilotus alba).

References:

  • McDonald, G. K. 1980. Moldy sweetclover poisoning in a horse. Can. Vet. J., 21: 250-251.

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