Photo via: Flickr
Melilot (Melilotus officinalis), also known as Yellow Sweet Clover, is a non-native plant originating from Eurasia and brought to the US as fodder for animals and a cover crop to produce a bust of nitrogen to poor soil and fields. It is not considered a weed but can become invasive if not monitored properly as it can be found in all types of soil.
Melilot benefits honeybees with it’s abundance of nectar and pollen and several types of butterflies and moths larvae which consumes the buds, leaves and flowers. Many mammals such as rabbits, moles and deer typically enjoy the leaves and flowers from the life benefiting plant as well as various birds who consume the seeds. As an herb, it is used medically under a physician’s care for a variety of ailments such as bruises and circulation problems.
In the home garden, Melilot is usually grown as an annual but is actually considered a biennial. It has a scent similar to fresh hay or mowed grass and it’s muted yellow flowers can be an asset to any wildlife or pollinator garden.