Indian Sweet Clover
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Indian Sweet Clover
ative trifoliate Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Indian Sweet Clover, Yellow sweet clover, Small Melilot • Hindi: बन मेथी Ban methi, Morila, Senji methi • Marathi: रान मेथी Ran methi • Bengali: বন মেথী Ban methi • Assamese: বন মেথী Ban Methi • Sanskrit: वनमेथिका Vanamethika • Nepali: मेथी घांस Methi ghans
Botanical name: Melilotus indicus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Melilotus indica, Trifolium indicum, Melilotus parviflorus

Indian Sweet Clover is an annual herb with hairless stem, spreading or erect, 10-60 cm. The flowers and leaves have a mild perfume scented fragrance, hence the common name. Leaves are trifoliate, leaflets 1-2.5 cm, inverted lance-shaped to wedge-shaped-obovate, generally sharply toothed on the broader part. Yellow flowers appear in slender, compact racemes that are 1-2 inches in length. Flowers have a 1-1.5 mm long sepal cup, and are 2.5-3 mm long, yellow in color. Nine filaments are fused, 1 free. Flowering: January-March.
Medicinal uses: Seeds are made into a soup and used in the treatment of bowel complaints and infantile diarrhoea. The plant is used externally as a poultice or plaster on swellings. The plant contains coumarin, which is an anticoagulant.

Identification credit: Amit Kotia Photographed in Delhi.

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