The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Tall Melilot
Melilotus altissimus is a Biennial/Perennial up to 1.20 metres tall.
It has edible and miscellaneous uses.
Dried leaves can be toxic though the fresh leaves are quite safe[
]. (This is possibly due to the presence of coumarin, the substance that gives some dried plants the smell of new mown hay. If taken internally it can prevent the blood from clotting.)
Europe. Naturalized in Britain.
Waste places and woods, avoiding acid soils[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Leaves and seedpods - cooked as a 'bean soup'[
Young shoots - cooked[
]. Also used as a flavouring[
]. Only eat the fresh plant, it becomes toxic if it is dried[
The dried plant is used as a moth repellent[
Seed - sow spring to mid-summer in situ[
]. Pre-soaking the seed for 12 hours in warm water will speed up the germination process, particularly in dry weather[
]. Germination will usually take place within 2 weeks.