Lady’s Bedstraw.

Botanical Name :Galium verum
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Galium
Species: G. verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Our Lady’s Bedstraw. Yellow Bedstraw. Maid’s Hair. Petty Mugget. Cheese Renning. Cheese Rennet.

Habitat : Yellow Bedstraw is native to Europe and Asia. It  grows in Waste ground, roadsides etc.  mainly near the sea, on all but the most acid soils.

Description:
Yellow Bedstraw is a perrinial low scrambling plant, with the stems growing to 60–120 centimetres (24–47 in) long, frequently rooting where they touch the ground. The leaves are 1–3 cm (0.39–1.2 in) long and 2 millimetres (0.079 in) broad, shiny dark green, hairy underneath, borne in whorls of 8–12. The flowers are 2–3 mm (0.079–0.12 in) in diameter, yellow, and produced in dense clusters. This species is sometimes confused with Galium odoratum, a species with traditional culinary uses.

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It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:     
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade, but it tolerates a position in full sun. Plants are tolerant of dry soils, but do not thrive in a hot climate. They dislike very acid soils. A very invasive plant, though it is low-growing and mixes without harm with any plants at least 60cm tall. It grows well in the summer meadow and is a food plant for the larvae of several species of butterflies.

Propagation:    
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer[200]. The seed can also be sown in situ in the spring though it may be very slow to germinate[200]. Division in spring. The plant can be successfully divided throughout the growing season if the divisions are kept moist until they are established[200]. 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.

Edible Uses:   
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Colouring;  Curdling agent;  Drink.

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Leaves – raw or cooked. A yellow dye from the flowering stems is used as a food colouring. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[7]. The seed is also said to be edible. The chopped up plant can be used as a rennet to coagulate plant milks. The flowering tops are distilled in water to make a refreshing acid beverage.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Foot care;  Lithontripic;  Vulnerary.

Lady’s bedstraw has a long history of use as a herbal medicine, though it is little used in modern medicine. Its main application is as a diuretic and as a treatment for skin complaints[254]. The leaves, stems and flowering shoots are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, foot care, lithontripic and vulnerary. The plant is used as a remedy in gravel, stone or urinary disorders and is believed to be a remedy for epilepsy. A powder made from the fresh plant is used to soothe reddened skin and reduce inflammation whilst the plant is also used as a poultice on cuts, skin infections, slow-healing wounds etc. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. 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.

Other Uses  
Dye;  Repellent;  Strewing;  Stuffing.

A red dye is obtained from the root. It is rather fiddly to utilize. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering tops. The dye is obtained from the foliage when it is boiled with alum. The dried plant has the scent of newly mown hay, it was formerly used as a strewing herb and for stuffing mattresses etc. It is said to keep fleas away. A sprig in a shoe is said to prevent blisters.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_verum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galium+verum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bedlad25.html

 

 

 

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