[Taxacom] Melilotus albus and officinalis

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Tue Jun 16 18:10:09 CDT 2009

Alec McClay wrote:

>  the consensus still seems to be that these are good species, not 
> just colour forms - I've never seen any reports of intermediates or 
> of interbreeding.

* and as a zoologist, I've noticed differences in apparent vulnerability 
to herbivory:

11 August 1994
Canada: Ontario: York Region: Toronto: base Leslie Street Spit. 30M/11, 
UTM 17TPU33 349.5  340 43.64875N 79.32645W.  TIME: 1035-1146. AIR TEMP: 
20.5, light overcast. HABITAT: piles of rubble in fill-built land, Salix 
brush. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad Schueler. 
94/148/h, Melilotus officinalis (Yellow Sweet-clover) (Plant). 1 herb, 
in bloom, prey of predator, specimen. small patch among fields of M. 
albus, heavily defoliated.  White species not defoliated in this way.

And later that month at the Toronto Zoo: "Noteable observation was that 
the Sweet Clover (& the only tall herb) in the Llama enclosure was all 
Melilotus officinalis, in contrast to other stands we have seen here, 
which were all vastly dominated by the white-flowered species."

(I'd have more, perhaps, but M. officinalis isn't widespread around home).

            Bishops Mills Natural History Centre
          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
       RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
    on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
      (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca

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