Species: Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Family: Bedstraws (RUBIACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Bedstraws (RUBIACEAE)

This is a huge worldwide family, whose main characteristic is the way the leaves are arranged in whorls around the stems.

C. Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Woodruff - or Sweet Woodruff - is a perennial that forms a mat of hairless plants. Star-shaped whorls of 6 to 9 elliptical leaves grow on short stems, topped with delicate, white, four-petalled flowers. The plant prefer shady places and woods. The Woodruff in the Cemetery was planted recently.

The plant's Latin name indicates that it has a strong odour, and this is derived from the coumarin that the plant contains. This resembles vanilla but has a bitter taste. Traditionally the plant has been used for a number of purposes, but these were banned in Germany in the 1970s because coumarin was known to be toxic, particularly to children. It can cause sickness, headaches and liver damage if taken in considerable quantities.

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Woodruff

Woodruff - or Sweet Woodruff - is a perennial that forms a mat of hairless plants that have small white flowers.

Woodruff

Woodruff prefers shady places and woods.