Common name: Lady’s Bedstraw. Bolach Cnis.
Perennial herbaceous plant, procumbent to erect to 90cms. Pannicles of tiny bright yellow flowers from June to September. Linear leaves in whorls along the stem up to the flowers. Common throughout Ireland and often close to the coast. (A subspecies Galium verum var. maritimum has internodes shorter than its leaves and is found on seaside dunes and coastal cliffs.)
A rich source of nectar for bumble bees and butterflies and is the food plant for 13 moths, including 5 types of hawk moth, providing food for larval and flying stages.
Found in many habitats around Ireland, often in coastal sandy places, old meadows, stone ditches.
Sow in early spring, around Feb as germination is erratic and can take 2-3 months, in seed trays of loamy compost mixed with course horticultural sand. Leave trays in a cool greenhouse/polytunnel/cold frame, you could cover tray with white plastic board to keep the compost moist and direct sunlight off, helps deter mice too. When large enough, prick out into modules and bring on until large enough to plant out in situ.
As you can see by the name it used to be used to stuff lady’s matresses, its aromatic flowers repelling fleas. It was purported to be in the manger with baby Jesus. It was used to curdle milk in cheese making.
Avg contents: 200 seeds.