GOLDEN MELILOT

TALL MELILOT

Melilotus altissimus

(formerly: Melilotus altissima)
Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

30th June 2008, River Lune, Near Caton. Photo: © RWD
A sub-plot of Golden Melilot


19th July 2007, Walney Island, (northern part), Cumbria. Photo: © RWD


2nd Aug 2005, Appley Bridge, Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Photo: © RWD


19th July 2007, Walney Island, (northern part), Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Black Coombe is in the distance.


19th July 2007, Walney Island, (northern part), Cumbria. Photo: © RWD


11th July 2007, Appley Bridge, Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Photo: © RWD
Leaves trefoil, ovate, centre one on longer stalk.


Golden (aka Tall) Melilot is easily confused with : Ribbed (aka Common) Melilot.

Various sources claim:

  • That contrarily to the name, Ribbed (aka Common) Melilot is slightly taller than Golden (aka Tall) Melilot and yet, equally perversely, that both grow to 1.5m.
  • That Ribbed Melilot has lemony yellow flowers whereas Golden Melilot has golden yellow flowers.
  • That Ribbed Melilot has the keel shorter than the standard and wings, whereas the two are equal length in the case of Golden Melilot.
  • That Ribbed Melilot is less compact and with lighter coloured stems than Golden Melilot.
  • That Ribbed Melilot has a less dense flower spike than does Golden Melilot.
  • And finally that the only way to tell them apart is by whether the pods are black and hairy (in the case of Golden Melilot) or hairless and olive-green in the case of Ribbed Melilot!

Strikingly, no sources claim that Ribbed Melilot is ribbed; all Melilots seem to be (in places) ribbed! It is obvious from the names alone that confusion has reigned supreme here.

Given such confusion, there is no guarantee that the author has correctly differentiated between the two commoner yellow Melilots in the photos shown here.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics: there is no mistaking that it is a Melilot. But which one ... The BSBI distribution map of both suggest that it can only be Tall Melilot, since Ribbed Melilot has not been seen on Walney Island since the new century began in 2000 AD.

But it is definitely not: Furrowed Melilot (Melilotus sulcatus) which hasn't been seen in the UK since the 1990's nor is it Round-fruited Melilot (Melilotus infestus) which hasn't been seen in the UK for even longer.


  Melilotus altissimus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
family8pea family8Fabaceae family8Leguminosae

 BSBI maps
genus8melilotus
Melilotus
(Melilots)

GOLDEN MELILOT

TALL MELILOT

Melilotus altissimus

(formerly: Melilotus altissima)
Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

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