Northern Bedstraw

  

(Galium boreale)

Northern bedstraw is a fragrant perennial wildflower, widespread in northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. It can be found in well drained to moist forested or grassy areas, spreading by both seed and underground rhizomes.

Panicle clusters of showy white flowers appear and bloom all summer from June to August. Narrow whorled leaves radiate out in a circle, directly from the stem turning a deep purplish red in the fall. The plant dies back over the Winter, growing back each year. Northern bedstraw is low maintenance and great in part shade wildflower gardens to compliment other colours.

Bedstraw has a subtle pleasant fragrance and was used historically to stuff pillows and mattresses, as a cushion and sleep aid. It was also used to filter cow's milk of impurities while adding nutritional benefits at the same time. The plant is edible and used medicinally as a blood cleansing tonic.