So we have a few Forage Fridays under our belt. We are driving forward with last week’s fun forage with a plant that grows in almost every continent. So, it’s easy for you to find. It’s growing on every roadside and empty lot unless you are in the Antarctic. I use my picnic basket to give it a summer feel. After all what is more summer than a picnic?
Melilotus officinalis, known as yellow sweet clover, yellow melilot, ribbed melilot and common melilot is a species of legume native to Eurasia and introduced in North America, Africa and Australia.
Sweet clover is a major source of nectar for domestic honey bees as hives near sweet clover can yield up to 200 pounds of honey in a year.
Sweet clover can be used as pasture or livestock feed. It is most palatable in spring and early summer, but livestock may need time to adjust to the bitter taste of coumarin in the plant.
Legumes increase nitrogen in the soil. Prior to World War II before the common use of commercial agricultural fertilizers, the plant was commonly used as a cover crop to increase nitrogen content and improve subsoil water capacity in poor soils. This is probably why it’s so easy to find.
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