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Hedge Bedstraw

Galium album

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rubiaceae (Bedstraw)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres long
Grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

White, 4 petals
Small clusters of white flowers which are pointed, 2-5mm. 4 stamens.
Small, wrinked nutlets. No bristles present.
6 to 8 stalked leaves in whorls. Elliptical, untoothed and pointed with a small bristles at the tips.
Other Names:
Cleavers, Upright Bedstraw, Upright Hedge Bedstraw, White Bedstraw.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Galium album, also known as white bedstraw or cleavers, is a species of flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the madder family and is known for its small, white flowers and narrow, pointed leaves. Galium album is an annual plant that grows up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) tall and has a thin, upright stem. The leaves are linear in shape and are a bright green color, with a distinctive, sharp point at the end. The plant produces small, white flowers that are shaped like a star and are arranged in clusters. Galium album is found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. It is a popular garden plant and is known for its medicinal properties, with the plant being used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


Hedge Bedstraw (Galium album) is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial that is native to Europe and Asia but can be found in other parts of the world as well.

The plant is characterized by its delicate and delicate stems that grow to a height of 30-60 cm. The stems are covered with whorls of small, white flowers that bloom from June to September. The leaves are also small, simple, and linear, arranged in clusters of 6-8.

Hedge Bedstraw has a number of medicinal uses and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. It is believed to have sedative and relaxing properties, making it a popular remedy for anxiety and stress. The plant is also used to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs and colds, as well as skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Hedge Bedstraw is also an important wildflower and provides food and habitat for many species of insects, including bees and butterflies. This makes it a valuable addition to any garden and a great choice for those looking to create a more wildlife-friendly environment.

Despite its many benefits, Hedge Bedstraw is not widely cultivated and is often considered to be a weed. However, with proper care and maintenance, it can be easily controlled and will not become invasive.

Hedge Bedstraw is also a great choice for landscaping and can be used in a variety of different ways. For example, it can be planted in borders, as a ground cover, or in rock gardens. It also makes a great addition to wildflower meadows and can be used to naturalize areas of rough grassland.

The plant prefers well-drained soil and partial shade, but it can also tolerate full sun and can grow in a range of soil types. It is also relatively low maintenance and does not require any special care or attention.

In addition to its ornamental value, Hedge Bedstraw also has a long history of use as a fiber plant. The stems of the plant are rich in fiber and have been used to make a variety of different products, including rope, mats, and baskets.

Despite its many uses, Hedge Bedstraw is still not widely known or recognized, and is often considered to be a weed. However, with proper care and maintenance, it can be easily controlled and will not become invasive.

Hedge Bedstraw is also an important food source for various species of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, and small mammals. The leaves, stems, and flowers are all edible and are high in nutrition, making them an important part of the diet of many species of wildlife.

In addition to its uses as a food source, Hedge Bedstraw is also an important nectar source for a variety of different insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. This makes it an important plant for maintaining biodiversity and supporting the local ecosystem.

Hedge Bedstraw is easy to propagate and can be grown from seed or cuttings. It is also a resilient plant and can tolerate a range of environmental conditions, making it a great choice for gardening in areas with challenging climates.

In conclusion, Hedge Bedstraw is a valuable and versatile plant that should be more widely recognized and appreciated. Whether you are looking for a medicinal remedy, a beautiful wildflower, or a source of food and habitat for wildlife, this delightful and hardy species is definitely worth considering. With its delicate white flowers, delicate stems, and simple leaves, Hedge Bedstraw is a charming and unique addition to any garden or landscape.


Hedge Bedstraw filmed at Smardale in the Yorkshire Dales on the 14th May 2023 and the 16th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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