Herb: Hedge Bedstraw


Latin name: Galium mollugo


Synonyms: Galium elatum, Galium erectum


Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)



Medicinal use of Hedge Bedstraw:

The plant is lithontripic and vulnerary. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria. A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
120 cm
(4 feet)

Flovering:
June to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Hedgebanks, open woodland, scrub and grassy slopes, especially on base-rich and calcareous soils.

Edible parts of Hedge Bedstraw:

Leaves - raw or cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

A red dye is obtained from the root. It is very fiddly to utilize. A good ground cover for growing in cool shade under shrubs or in the woodland garden.

Propagation of Hedge Bedstraw:

Seed - best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in spring though it may be very slow to germinate. This plant does not really need any help to reproduce itself. Division in spring or throughout the growing season if the plants are kept well watered. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Hedgebanks, open woodland, scrub and grassy slopes, especially on base-rich and calcareous soils.

Known hazards of Galium mollugo:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.