Sweetclover was among the first legumes tested by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (now the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center). The performance of Melilotus alba, a biennial white-flowered sweetclover, was first reported in a Texas Station bulletin published in 1895. The bulletin “Sweetclover in Texas”, by Dr. R. C. Potts, was published in 1955, and provides an excellent summary of sweetclover research and usage for the first half of the twentieth century.
The variety ‘Hubam’, released in 1921, has a large woody main stem like most annual sweetclovers that is not palatable to livestock. ‘Emerald’ is an annual sweetclover with fine stems and multiple stemmed crown morphology similar to alfalfa. Because of this unique stem growth trait Emerald sweetclover has improved forage quality compared to Hubam and will be used as a genetic source of this trait. Emerald was developed by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in 1944.