Wild Madder

Wild_Madder_jpgThe Rubiaceae family commonly called the Madder or Bedstraw family consists of 630 genera and 10,400 species of shrubs, lianas, trees and a few herbs.  The family provides us with coffee (Coffea), quinine (Cinchona), ipecacuanha (Cephaelis), yohimbine (Pausinystalia), dyes, timber and ornamental shrubs (Gardenia, for example). The generic name Galium is from the Greek gala which mean “milk” and refers the property of some species in this genus to curdle milk.  The plants in this genus were used in cheese-making.  The dried plants in this genus are fragrant with coumarin and were used as bedstraw in pillows and mattresses.  The Bedstraws were also called “Chicken-weed” because small chickens could get caught in them. The roots of Wild Madder yield dye. Wild Madder is found in dry, often rocky ground of woods and shaded edges. Wild Madder is also common in thicket communities.

OtherCommonName:

Great Hedge Bedstraw

ScientificName:

Galium mollugo

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from Europe

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

1 to 4 feet

FruitingTime:

June to August

Distribution:

FloweringTime:

May to June

IdentifyingCharacteristics: