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Botanical Name: Trigonella caerulea
Synonyms: Trigonella melilotus-caerulea, Melilotus caeruleus, Trifolium caeruleum, Grammocarpus caeruleus
Common Names: Blue fenugreek, Sweet Trefoil
English:Blue–white clover, Blue–white trigonella, Sweet trefoil, Curd herb, Blue melilot
French: Trigonelle bleue, Mélilot bleu, Baumier, Trèfle musque, Trèfle bleu, Lotier odorant, Mélilot d’Allemagne
Georgian: Utskho suneli, Utsxo suneli
German: Schabziegerklee, Blauer Steinklee, Blauklee, Bisamklee, Brotklee, Hexenkraut, Ziegerkraut, Zigerchrut, Ziegerklee, Käseklee, Blauer Honigklee
Habitat:Blue fenugreek is found in the Alps, in the mountains of Eastern and South Eastern Europe and in the Caucasus.The plant is naturalized on waste and arable land.
Blue fenugreek is an annual herb in the. It is 30-60 cm tall. Its leaves are obovate or lance-shaped, 2-5 cm long, 1-2 cm wide and saw-toothed in upper part. Its flower stalks are compact, globular racemes, longer than the leaves. The sepals are twice as short as the corolla, its teeth are equal to the tube. The corolla is 5.5-6.5 mm long and blue. The pods are erect or slightly curved, compressed, 4-5 mm long with beak 2 mm. The seeds are small and elongated. It blossoms in April-May, the seeds ripen in May-June. It is self-pollinated.
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Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil in full sun. Cultivated in the Mediterranean for its leaves which are used as a flavouring. 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. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ.
Young seedlings are eaten with oil and salt. The leaves and young plants are eaten cooked. The dried powdered leaves and flowers are used as a flavouring and colouring for bread etc. They are also used as a condiment in soups and potato dishes. A decoction of the leaves is used as an aromatic tea and as a flavouring for China tea
Blue fenugreek is widely used in Georgian cuisine, where it is known as utskho suneli. It is one of the ingredients of the Georgian spice mix khmeli suneli. Both the seeds, the pods and the leaves are used. The smell and taste are similar to ordinary fenugreek, but milder. In Switzerland it is used for flavouring the traditional schabziger cheese.
Constituents: According to a somewhat older publication, ??keto-acids are responsible for the flavour of blue fenugreek: pyruvic acid, ??keto glutaric acid, ??keto isovalerianic acid and even a-keto isocapronic acid
Medicinal Uses: Not available in the internet