March 16th, 2012

Latin:  Galium aparine

Irish:  Garbhlus


This native annual, also known by the common name “Robin-Run-The-Hedge”, has straggling stems that, like the leaves, are clothed with small, hooked prickles that behave like “Velcro” allowing the stems to tenaciously adhere to clothing, etc..

It has small relatively inconspicuous flowers that appear in late May-June and the fruits are small (3-4mm) spheres covered in Velcro-like bristles.


It is a serious weed of field and garden because the stems spread rampantly and quickly and shade out any plants that they overrun.

Specimens are abundant in waste areas, hedgerows and spinneys throughout the course.

Cleavers is a coffee relative, and its seed, when roasted, have been used as a coffee substitute, and the young leaves can be eaten like spinach.

Leave a Reply