Information on Ribbed Melilot

Common Name: Ribbed Melilot
Scientific Name: Melilotus officinalis
Irish Name: Crúibín cait
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Ribbed Melilot is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is a hairless biennial which flowers from June to September on waste ground, railway banks and grassland.  It has spikes of pretty bright yellow peaflowers, each 4-7mm long, with the wing petals and standard, longer than the keel.  The leaves are trefoil having oblong, toothed leaflets.  The seedpods are brown, wrinkled and hairless. This plant has been introduced into Ireland and belongs to the family Fabaceae.   

I first saw this plant in Killiney, Co Dublin in 1977 and photographed it on the West Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in 2007 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Melilot, Ribbed
Melilot, Ribbed

Originally a fodder plant in the 16th century, Ribbed Melilot was also used by herbalists as the juice of the plant was reputed to help with eye problems.  This plant is much loved by bees, hoverflies and moths as it has an abundance of nectar.