Melilotus tauricus (Bieb.) Ser. - Crimean melilot.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Melilotus Mill.

Main synonyms:

M. besserianus Ser., M. imbricatus Ser., M. glaucescens Godet ex Stev.

Morphology and biology.

Biennial plant. Stems pale green or glaucous, straight, branched, 30-80 cm tall, glabrous or weakly pubescent. Stipules subulate. Leaflets rhomboid, obovate or oblong-cuneate, somewhat obtuse at the apex. Inflorescence a lax raceme 5-10 cm long, elongating in fruit. Flowers 5-7 mm long, pendant. Calyx about 3 mm long, pubescent, incised down to half. Calyx teeth linear-lanceolate, acuminate. Corolla white. Standard, wings and keel of the same length. Ovary stipitate, pubescent with short adpressed hairs, with two ovaries. Young pods hairy, mature glabrous, 4-7 mm long. Pod valves light brown when mature, plicately wrinkled. Seeds smooth, about 2,5 mm long, light brown, 1, rarely 2 in a pod. Flowers in June - July, fruits in July - August. Entomophilous. Zoochore. 2n=16.


General distribution: Asia Minor. Former USSR: European part - Crimea, the South coast, often. Solitary records in Simferopol environs and Kerch.


Mountain slopes, screes, shrubberies, coastal rocks, vineyards, rarely roadsides.

Use and economic value.

Wild relative of cultivated melilot species. Forage.


Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., ed. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. Leningrad: Nauka. P.181. (In Russian).
Shishkin BK., ed. 1945. Flora URSS. V.11. P.188. (In Russian).
Cherepanov SK. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). St.Petersburg. 990 p. (In Russian).

© T.N.Smekalova

© Photo by I.G.Chukhina

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