Galium - Growing Guide

Growing Galium odoratum

Sweet woodruff, Sweet scented bedstraw

This is a low growing, and widely spreading, rhizomatous perennial which grows, as a carpet, to around 18in in height. It has upright stems topped with circles or whorls of six to nine lance shaped emerald green leaves 1-2in long with prickles on the edges. The flowers are star shaped, white, and scented in small cymes or clusters from late spring to midsummer.

G. odoratum may be invasive, but it is an excellent garden or woodland groundcover plant which is perfectly hardy in our climate and grows in the wild in Europe and Russia. Bees are attracted to the flowers and the leaves have a hay scent when cut and dried.

These plants may scorch in full sun and are best grown in shade under other plants where the ground is fairly bare and weed free anyway. Propagation is by simple division of the expanding clumps when dormant.


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