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Galium odoratum

Common Name(s):
Sweet scented bed straw, Sweet woodruff
Categories:
Edible Plants, Groundcover, Herbs, Perennials
Comment:

Low maintanance, herbaceous perennial groundcover blooms in the spring.  

Useful in herb gardens, rock gardens, naturalized areas, shady borders or as a ground cover or edging plant.   They tolorate heavy shade and even being planted near black walnuts.  Can be somewhat agressive under optimal growing conditions.  Plants can be mowed with a rotary mower set high if necessary to maintain growth. 

Lance-shaped dark green leaves form whorls of 6-8 around, squarish stems.   The foliage smells of freshly mowed hay when crushed.  The aromatic properties increase when the leaves are dried so they are often used in potpouri or sachets.  This plant has been used commercialy in perfumes.  The flowers are showy, fragrant and edible. 

Play Value:  Wildlife Enhancement

Notes:  Potentially invasive

Covered in hooked bristles in summer 

Seed:  Capsule

Season:
spring, summer
Light:
Partial shade
Height:
6-12 inches
Space:
12 in.
Flower Color:
white
Hardiness:
Perennial
Habit:
ground cover
Form:
prostrate
Propagation:
Division
Soil:
moist, well-drained soil
Edibility:
Flowers and leaves dried for tea or cold fruit drinks. Leaves are also used to make May wine, a punch made from white wine flavored with woodruff, orange and pineapple.
Tags:
fragrance, play, playground, herb, showy flowers, white flowers, edible herb, fragrant leaves, edible flowers, edible groundcover, edible, fragrant, fragrant flowers, children’s garden

NCCES plant id: 398

Galium odoratum Galium odoratum
Rudolf Schafer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Galium odoratum Galium odoratum
Bill Higham, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Galium odoratum Galium odoratum
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Galium odoratum Galium odoratum
Rudolf Schafer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Galium odoratum Galium odoratum
Melanie Shaw, CC-BY-SA-2.0