Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lady's Bedstraw - An Herb to Know

Years ago I collected herbs in the garden.  Then this one tried to take over.  So I dug it up and planted it on a hill where it had to compete with grass and brambles.   It's still happy, but we're not in danger of it singing, 'Feed me, Seymour!'

It's lady's bedstraw, Galium verum.  It's a dual duty herb, used as a natural flea repellent and as a dye plant. 

It has tall beautiful, honey scented flowers - 24-30" tall depending on how happy it is.   The roots form a dense creeping mat and the leaves are a spiky version of typical galium leaves. 

It was dried and stuffed into mattresses traditionally, hence the common name - Lady's Bedstraw.    

This is one natural dye we never tried to use because it's a bit seasonal.   The roots have to be dug up at just the right time for the best color.  Then they have to be chopped finely. Here's a great write up from someone who has tried it.

1 comment:

  1. Natural flea repellant, Xopher jotted down in his notes...


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