Herb: False Cleavers


Latin name: Galium spurium


Synonyms: Galium vaillantii


Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)



Medicinal use of False Cleavers:

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:
Annual


Height:
75 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
July

Habitat of the herb:

Plants are doubtfully native in Britain but are well established in arable fields in Essex and in a few other scattered localities.

Edible parts of False Cleavers:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A famine food, used as a last resort.

Other uses of the herb:

A red dye is obtained from the root.

Propagation of False Cleavers:

Seed - best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in the spring though it may be very slow to germinate.

Cultivation of the herb:

Plants are doubtfully native in Britain but are well established in arable fields in Essex and in a few other scattered localities.

Known hazards of Galium spurium:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.