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Sweet Woodruff, Sweet-scented Bedstraw
Scientific Name: Galium odoratum (L.) Scop.
Synonym: Asperula odorata
Family: Rubiaceae
Sweet Woodruff, Sweet-scented Bedstraw (Galium  odoratum)
Asperula odorata, Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 3: 267. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society.
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 1-6, 15-17
USDA: 4-8

Heat Tolerance: Questionable

Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade

Origin: Eurasia, North Africa

Growth Habits: Perennial, 6 to 12 inches tall (15-30 cm), 6 to 18 inches spread (15-45 cm); leaves are in whirls

Watering Needs: Regular to abundant, will go dormant in summer if it lacks water

Propagation: Fresh seeds, or division. Self-sows and propagates by creeping rhizomes, can be used as ground cover


The plant contains coumarin that gives it its characteristic smell of freshly mowed grass, that has its full strength only when dried. The dried leaves are popular in potpourris. The leaves are used in some wines and in summer drinks in Europe (May wine is prepared by adding fresh springs of woodruff to Rhine wine). Woodruff is also used in perfumes.

Sweet Woodruff, Sweet-scented Bedstraw (Galium  odoratum)

Blooming Habits:
White flowers in small terminal inflorescences, above the foliage, in late spring.

Fruiting Habits:


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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