Plant of the Week: White Melilot (Melilotus Albus)

I had never even heard of this plant so it is quite thrilling to find out its proper name.  It is found all over the British Isles but prefers warmer conditions.  The flowers produce abundant seeds which can float and disperse in water which is why it is common near rivers.

It has been used in herbal medicine as it contains dicoumarol (an anti-coagulant).  It is useful for honey production and for its nitrogen fixing ability in preparing agricultural soil for future crops.

I used the website of The British Botanical Society (link opposite) to identify this plant.  A really useful website.

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2 thoughts on “Plant of the Week: White Melilot (Melilotus Albus)

  1. I too have a magnificent 2 meter shrub of White Melilot.
    It appeared in the garden last year towards the end of summer and as I did not know what it was – and it is quite pretty – I left it in place over winter although I cut it down a bit. It lost its leaves but survived the snow.
    My soil is dry and not many things are able to grow in it so I was pleasantly surprised when this summer it grew and grew thereby giving some shade to more tender plants. A few weeks ago it burst into masses of bloom and the branches became so heavy and sprawling – I had to cut it down to about 60cm. It continues to flower and now an other one has started to grow about three meters away. I am going to keep them as they are pretty and the bees love them. They also give gentle shade and prevent plants near them being burnt up in the hot dry spell we have had in East Anglia.
    I have only just found out what it is called, by seaching through library books for wild flowers.

    1. Hi Bobbie

      Thanks for your comment! Great to hear from someone in faraway East Anglia. Your White Melilot sound magnificent. It is one of my favourites at the Creek, I love the creamy-white colour of the flowers and it is also quite elegant and tall. Glad yours is flourishing. If you ever come to London come and pay us a visit and have a wade! All details on the website http://www.creeksidecentre.org.uk and there is also a Facebook page called Deptford Creek.

      Regards
      The Hermit

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