SWEET WOODRUFF (Galium odoratum; or Asperula ordorata)

By The Old House Web

SWEET WOODRUFF (Galium odoratum; or Asperula ordorata)

This herb is mainly used to flavor punches, summer drinks, and Maywine. Its haylike aroma increases as the leaves dry. Sweet woodruff is also added to potpourris, sachets, and sometimes used commercially in perfumes. The plants are useful as an attractive groundcover for a shady area.

Sweet woodruf is a low growing perennial ground cover that reaches a height of only 8 to 10 inches. The glossy leaves grow in whorls around the stem. Clusters of white, star- shaped flowers appear at the tips of the stems in early summer.

The seed is slow to germinate, so it is best to divide established plants in spring or fall, or to take cuttings from mature plants and root them in a mixture of peat moss and perlite. Space your plants 1 foot apart. Sweet woodruff is self-sowing once established and can become a pesky weed. Harvest the leaves in late spring before blossoms appear; dry them upside down in a dark area. The leaves and stems can also be frozen for later use.

SOURCE: James C. Schmidt Department of Horticulture Michigan State University

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