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Lady’s Bedstraw

Lady’s Bedstraw – Galium verum

Flowering from June -September, this annual perennial can now be seen carpeting the hedge banks and, in particular, the roadside verges along the Breamish Valley. It grows about 30cm tall and, belonging to the Rubiaceae family, it has distinctive whorled leaves. Whorled leaves are three or more leaves all growing from a single node on a stem (compare it to, for example, ‘opposite leaves’ where just two leaves grow opposite each other on a stem). Lady’s bedstraw can have 8-12 leaves growing in a whorl.

leaf whorl of lady's bedstraw
Leaf whorl

Sleep on this!

The flowers of lady’s bedstraw give off a faint scent of freshly mown hay and it’s thought that its name derives from a (mediaeval) practice of stuffing mattresses with it, especially those of women about to give birth.

Photo of lady's bedstraw on a roadside verge
Yellow lady’s bedstraw (with violet/purple tufted vetch)

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