Yellow Melilot is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in hedgerows, roadsides and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 120cm.
Yellow Melilot, a Eurasian plant, was introduced into the UK by the nineteenth century. Yellow Melilot has traditionally been grown as a fodder plant. The name 'Melilot' means 'honey clover' and this refers to the sweet smell of the plant's nectar-rich flowers. Yellow Melilot is a fairly tall, branching and bushy plant with a straggly appearance. Its trifoliate leaves have long oval leaflets with a spiky serrated edge. Its flowers are borne on dense spikes, flowering from the base of the spike upwards.
Botanic classification and naming: Yellow Melilot is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Melilotus' identifies the plant as a Sweet-Clover and its species name 'officinalis' means 'herbal medicinal plant'.
Benefits: Yellow Melilot produces a large volume of nectar to attract pollinators. It also has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.