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Common Name: False Cleavers
Galium spurium is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Plants are doubtfully native in Britain but are well established in arable fields in Essex and in a few other scattered localities[
|Pollinators||Flies, Beetles, Self
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[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A famine food, used as a last resort[
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[
A red dye is obtained from the root[
Seed - best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in the spring though it may be very slow to germinate.