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This article is about the genus of grassland plants. For the moshav, see Mlilot.
Sweet Clover
Melilotus officinalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Trifolieae
Genus: Melilotus

See text

Melilot (Melilotus), also known as Sweet Clover, is a genus in the family Fabaceae. Members are known as common grassland plants and as weeds of cultivated ground. Originally from Europe and Asia, it is now found worldwide.



Melilotus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including case-bearers of the genus Coleophora that including C. frischella and C. trifolii.

Melilotus is often used as a green manure and turned into the soil to increase its nitrogen and organic matter content. It is especially valuable in heavy soils because of its deep rooting. However, it may fail if the soil is too acid. It should be turned into the soil when 8 to 10 inches tall. Unscarified seed is best sown in spring when the ground is not too dry; scarified seed is better sown in late fall or even in the snow, so it will germinate before competing weeds the following spring.


Blue Melilot (Trigonella caerulea) is not a member of the genus, despite the name.


Melilotus albus
Melilotus altissimus
Melilotus dentatus
Melilotus elegans
Melilotus hirsutus
Melilotus indicus
Melilotus infestus
Melilotus italicus
Melilotus macrocarpus
Melilotus messanensis
Melilotus neapolitanus
Melilotus officinalis
Melilotus polonicus
Melilotus segetalis
Melilotus serratifolius
Melilotus speciosus
Melilotus suaveolens
Melilotus sulcatus
Melilotus tauricus
Melilotus wolgicus


  1. ILDIS as of November 2005
  2. Five Acres and Independence by M.G. Kains. 1973.


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