Botanical Name: Galium mollugo
Species: G. mollugo
*Galium erectum Huds.
*Galium mollugo subsp. erectum (Huds.) Briq.
*Galium mollugo var. erectum (Huds.) Domin
*Rubia mollugo (L.) Baillon
Common Names: Hedge bedstraw, False baby’s breath,
Habitat: Galium mollugo is native to most of Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa and temperate Asia. It grows in hedgebanks, open woodland, scrub and grassy slopes, especially on base-rich and calcareous soils.
Galium mollugo is a perennial plant growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a medium rate. The stems are square in cross-section, more or less erect with ascending branches. Starting from the axils of leaves it has inflorescences of small white flowers with a diameter of about 1 to 1.5 cm, with four petals. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, beetles.
The plant is self-fertile.
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade. Tolerates dry soils but the leaves quickly become scorched when growing in full sun. This species does not thrive in a hot climate. A polymorphic specie.
Edible Uses: Leaves are eaten – raw or cooked.
The plant is lithontripic and vulnerary. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria. Both Asperuloside (a terpenoid) and Coumarin (a benzopyrone) occur in some species of Galium. 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: 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.
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