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Woodruff

WoodruffWoodruff (Galium odoratum) is a perennial plant in the family Rubiaceae, native to Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.

A herbaceous plant, it grows to 30-50 cm (12-20 ins.) long, often lying flat on the ground or supported by other plants. Its vernacular names include woodruff, sweet woodruff, and wild baby's breath.

The leaves are simple, lanceolate, glabrous, 2-5 cm long, and borne in whorls of 6-9. The small (4-7 mm diameter) flowers are produced in cymes, each white with four petals joined together at the base. The fruits are 2-4 mm diameter, produced singly, and each is covered in tiny hooked bristles which help disperse them by sticking temporarily to clothing and animal fur.

This plant prefers partial to full shade in moist, rich soils. In dry summers it needs frequent irrigation. Propagation is by crown division, separation of the rooted stems, or digging up of the barely submerged perimeter stolons. It is ideal as a groundcover or border accent in woody, acidic gardens where other shade plants fail to thrive.

Text and photographs courtesy of Wikipedia