Powdery mildew was observed on plants of white sweetclover (Melilotus alba Medik.) in Riley County, Kansas, in 1995, 1996, and 1997 but was not examined closely until 1997. White, effuse to dense, amphigenous mycelia bearing Oidium conidia were obvious by mid June. Effuse growth occurred on petioles and stems. Invaded leaflets wilted and dropped, sometimes leaving a green petiole. Signs and symptoms diminished during the warmer periods of July and August, reoccurred in September, and remained prominent until the foliage froze in November. However, on 1 December, viable, newly produced conidia were collected from scant hyphal growth on protected leaves at the base of a few plants. A sexual state was not found. Characteristics of the conidial state fit those of Erysiphe pisi (1). Powdery mildew was never observed on plants of yellow sweetclover (M. officinalis (L.) Lam.) growing among the mildewed plants of white sweetclover. This is the first report of powdery mildew on M. alba in Kansas.
Reference: (1) H. J. Boesewinkel. Bot. Rev. 46:167, 1980.