Hedge Bedstraw is similar in looks and taste to Cleavers but lacks the hooked hairs and general roughness so is good to eat raw or it can be used to make a tea or soup.
|Common Names||Hedge Bedstraw, False Babies Breath|
|Synonyms||Galium erectum, Rubia mollugo|
|Scientific Name||Galium mollugo|
Many tiny, white, four petaled flowers emerge from the axils of the leaves in late Spring and can continue until late Summer.
Has a smooth, hairless, square stem that is usually erect until it becomes quite long and can sag under its own weight.
Could be confused with Cleavers, pictured, but Cleavers are covered in small hooked hairs and are edible.
The young ‘tips’ are pleasant in a salad, the older parts can be quite bitter.
Hedge Bedstraw is a member of the Rubiaceae family which it shares with Cleavers and Coffee. The fruits/seeds of Hedge Bedstraw can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute which contains less caffeine.
Is there any chance you will be doing any foraging near woking?
Brookwood farm woods and meadows?
we do go to Guildford every year. Check the foraging courses link in the top menu 🙂
I though Bedstraw contained Anthraquinone which is toxic. Are certain parts of the plant not edible?
Bedstraw does contain Anthraquinone but in amounts small enough to not adversely affect humans. Some smaller mammals can be affected when Bedstraw takes over forage crops for animals as it is very invasive.