Lady's bedstraw

Galium verum

''Galium verum'' is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Rubiaceae. It is widespread across most of Europe, North Africa, and temperate Asia from Palestine and Turkey to Japan and Kamchatka. It is naturalized in Tasmania, New Zealand, Canada, and the northern half of the United States. It is considered a noxious weed in some places.
Lady's Bedstraw Haymeadow plant Cumbria,Galium verum,Kings Meaburn,Lady's bedstraw

Appearance

''Galium verum'' is a low scrambling plant, with the stems growing to 60–120 centimetres long, frequently rooting where they touch the ground. The leaves are 1–3 cm long and 2 millimetres broad, shiny dark green, hairy underneath, borne in whorls of 8–12. The flowers are 2–3 mm in diameter, yellow, and produced in dense clusters. This species is sometimes confused with ''Galium odoratum'', a species with traditional culinary uses.
Galium verum S Armenia, Goris Galium verum,Lady's bedstraw

Naming

Many varietal and subspecific names have been proposed, but only four are currently recognized:

⤷ ''Galium verum'' subsp. ''asiaticum'' T.Yamaz - China, Korea, Japan, Russian Far East
⤷ ''Galium verum'' subsp. ''glabrescens'' Ehrend. - Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria
⤷ ''Galium verum'' subsp. ''verum'' - most of species range
⤷ ''Galium verum'' subsp. ''wirtgenii'' Oborny - Central and eastern Europe plus Western Siberia
Lady's bedstraw (Galium verum) Inflorescence of Lady's bedstraw (Galium verum) Fall,Galium verum,Geotagged,Lady's bedstraw,Netherlands,flora

Uses

In the past, the dried plants were used to stuff mattresses, as the coumarin scent of the plants acts as a flea killer. The flowers were also used to coagulate milk in cheese manufacture and, in Gloucestershire, to colour the cheese double Gloucester.

The plant is also used to make red madder-like and yellow dyes.
In Denmark, the plant is traditionally used to infuse spirits, making the uniquely Danish drink '.

References:

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