Found growing around the world, Galium aparine is an herbaceous annual in the Rubiaceae family. Contact us | Other names that cleavers are known as include sticky willy, stickybud, stickyweed, kisses, and clivers. Juice is obtained from the fresh plant and used in such serious illnesses, as cancer, and as a strong diuretic to rid the body of toxins. Disclaimer | The plant can be found throughout Europe, except in Lapland and arctic Russia. You are here: Home > Blog > A Guide to Wild Flowers of Woodland and Hedgerow > Bedstraws and cleavers. It is harvested during the flowering season of summer. Summary: The mature plant has a distinctive sticky feeling and rings of 6-8 leaves on the prostrate or scrambling and climbing, square stems with curved spines on the angles. Cleavers. Another plant classified as a weed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is cleavers – also known as Galium aparine, bedstraw and scarthgrass – an herb that may have potent medicinal qualities both when used internally and externally. Cleavers definition is - an annual bedstraw (Galium aparine) having many stalked white flowers and stems covered with curved prickles; also : any of several related plants. Woodruff has long been used to flavour wines, as stated by Gerard; and the practice continues with it now being used mainly to flavour alcoholic beverages such as bitters, May wine, and vermouth. Cleavers received its name from its ability to cling (or cleave) to fur or clothing. Sweet woodruff has larger flowers and broader leaves than other bedstraws. The Yellow Bedstraw can furnish a red dye, like its ally, the Madder of the Continent, Rubia tinctorum. REFERENCES: Deliorman, D., Çaliþ, Ý., and Ergun, F. Iridoids from Galium aparine. Pharmaceutical Biology 2001;39(3):234-235. Livestock and birds relish its bitter flavour. The seeds when dried and lightly roasted are said to give a coffee-like drink. Ceanothus and phytolacca are both exotics to me, and I have cleavers and yellow bedstraw all over the place - the cleavers in damp meadows and vegetable plots, and the yellow bedstraw on dry meadows. It is often used as a vegetable where it is gently sweated in a pan like spinach and can be continually harvested until fall. Catchweed bedstraw is known by many names around the world includ-ing cleavers, bedstraw, stickywilly, and “velcro plant.” Bedstraw is native to North America and can be found throughout California, particularly in moist, shady areas. Native to Europe, it is also found in Asia, Siberia, and North Africa, and is harvested during or shortly before the flowering season. The stems used to be fashioned into mat that would serve as a sieve, through which fresh milk could be filtered and infused with the health-giving properties of the plant. For educational purposes only. Cleavers are also known as "lady's bedstraw" because during the middle ages it was dried and used for mattress stuffing. It is used in much the same way as Cleavers, but only if that herb is unavailable, since it is the preferred one of the species. They are very similar in appearance, except for the color of the flowers, which are yellow in lady's bedstraw. Cleavers is often taken as a diuretic, but it is also effective to soothe such skin disorders as seborrhea, eczema, and psoriasis, as well as for sunburn and blisters. It also reduces the effects of Cancer. Instant stick. I usually just grab a bunch and touch it to my back pack. While the leaves and stems are eaten fresh on spring salads, dried cleavers herb is commonly tinctured, steeped as tea, or … Gonorrhea: Believe it or not, cleavers was once believed to cure gonorrhea.However, today's antibiotics are a far more effective and reliable way to treat this dangerous sexually-transmitted disease. 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