Lady’s Bedstraw

March 16th, 2012

Latin:  Galium verum

Irish:  Bolach cnis


Lady’s Bedstraw is a rather delicate native perennial with slender, square, trailing stems (up to 100cm) bearing whorls of 8 or more needle-like leaves.  It flowers in late June and produces golden heads of tiny (2-4mm across) bright yellow flowers.

The only incidence of this species noted thus far has been on the west-facing slope of the motte behind the the 10thgreen.

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.


The plant has a pleasant smell of new-mown hay when dried and was used for stuffing mattresses etc. – it smelled nice and was said to keep fleas away. A sprig in a shoe was believed to prevent blisters.



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