Types & Cultivation

Meliot / Sweet Clover


This biennial is a little unusual since it is native to England and Wales, so you may have to order the seeds from a nursery that deals in hard to find seeds or plants (there are several online that list it). Also called sweet clover.

Once you find it, you will be glad you did. Melilot produces long spikes of yellow pea like flowers in summer that act like a magnet for bees. The bushy stems grow about 2 feet high.

It is the clover-like leaves and not the flowers which are used. You can make an occasional refreshing tea with them or chop them and add to stuffing - the flavor is often described as honey or almond like. This almond like fragrance remains when the leaves are dried, so they make a lovely addition to potpourri.

It gives an original flavor to beer and cheeses. Used in the Swiss green cheese Schabzieger and in Gruyère.

It's close cousin, blue melilot is used in Switzerland to give color and flavor to sapsago cheese.


Cultivation of Meliot / Sweet Clover

Site: Meliot likes sun but will tolerate light shade. I does well in soil that is well drained. Sweet clover thrives under a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. However, it will not tolerate acid soils. It is drought resistant, winter-hardy and productive throughout the Corn Belt south to the Gulf Coast. Quite alkali tolerant and even likes limestone soils. Because of its deep, heavy taproot and dense root system it opens subsoil and increase aeration, making it a valuable conservation tool.

Propagation: Sow meliot in early spring or late summer. Meliot self-seeds in light soils.

Growing: Thin or transplant meliot plants to 18 inches apart. This plant is not suitable to grow indoors. Root break down rapidly at maturity, adding organic matter to the soil. Sweet clover can be used for hay, silage, green manure or pasture. It is also one of the most valuable plants for honey production, often used solely for bee pasture.

Harvesting: Gather leaves and flowers anytime.

Culinary Uses: Meliot's dried leaves can be used in small amounts in soups, stews marinades, teas, sausage, pork marinades. It give an original flavor to beer and cheeses. It is used in the Swiss green cheese Schabzieger and in Gruyère.

Types of Herbs