Melilotus infestus Guss. (syn.: M. sulcatus subsp. infestus (Guss.) Bonnier & Layens) (W-Medit.) – An exceptional and ephemeral alien. Recorded on a grain dump in the port of Antwerpen in 2012, along with Malva trimestris and Phalaris paradoxa. In 2014 also seen,along with the similar M. sulcatus, on an unloading quay for cereals, also in the Antwerp port area.
Melilotus infestus is much reminiscent of M. sulcatus and is sometimes accepted as a subspecies of the latter (Jauzein 1995) or merely included in its synonymy. However, it is clearly distinct as shown by Stevenson (1969) and easily distinguished on fruit characters, flower size and even on smell (strong smell of coumarin that is lacking in Melilotus sulcatus). Euro+Med Plantbase also accepts Melilotus infestus (see also Sales & Hedge 2000).
There are rather few records of Melilotus infestus as an alien outside its native distribution range. Clement & Foster (1994) provide some records, as a birdseed and grain alien, from the British Isles. Karlsson (1997) cites Melilotus infestus from Scandinavia.
Clement E.J. & Foster M.C. (1994) Alien plants of the British Isles. BSBI, London: XVIII + 590 p.
Jauzein P. (1995) Flore des champs cultivés. INRA, Paris: 898 p.
Karlsson T. (1997) Förteckning över svenska kärlväxter. Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 91: 241-560.
Stevenson G.A. (1969) An agronomic and taxonomic overview of the genus Melilotus Mill. Can. J. Plant Sc. 49: 1-20. [available on line at: http://pubs.aic.ca/doi/pdf/10.4141/cjps69-001]