(Rubiaceae - Madder Family)
- short to medium-sized perennial groundcover, or miniature spreading herb
- 6" to 12" tall when in late Spring bloom, but about 4" tall when in foliage, spreading slowly at its perimeter by the procumbent rooting stems
- procumbent mat growth habit
- slow to medium growth rate (of perimeter spread)
- partial shade to full shade
- prefers moist, rich soils in partial shade in areas with cool Summers, or with frequent irrigation in areas with hot, dry Summers; however, ti tolerates average, well-drained, dry, thin soils of various soil pH
- propagated by crown division, separation of the rooted stems, or digging up of the barely submerged perimeter stolons
- Madder Family, with few disease or pest problems
- moderately available in containers
- often exhibiting seasonal dieback due to hot, dry conditions that induce Summer dormancy, but it will sometimes revive with a flush of new growth with the coolness of Autumn
- bright green emergent foliage eventually matures as dark green, in tiered whorls of six to eight, lanceolate to narrow elliptical leaflets around the thin grooved stems, with each leaflet being about 1.5" long
- very attractive and fine-textured in foliage, forming a solid mat of dense groundcover
- when crushed, the foliage smells like sweet freshly-mown hay (it is
sometimes used as an herb)
- fall color is variable from dark green with scorched areas (if present at
all) to bright green (from fresh sprouts)
- white, in terminal small inflorescences above the foliage in late May
and early June, briefly spectacular when found as solid beds of white-flowering groundcover in the shade
- small and ornamentally insignificant
- procumbent stems may root at the nodes and thus continuously spread at the perimeter of the plant
- whorled leaflets around the procumbent thin stems are almost unique in the landscape, forming the attractive feature of this groundcover and seldom-used herb, except when it is in showy white flower in late May and early June, forming a carpet of small inflorescences that brighten the semi-shady areas where it prospers, trails, and fills in amongst other plants
- groundcover, edging, mass planting, embankment, borders, or in naturalized
areas, all in the shade
- fine texture
- thick density
- fine-textured foliage in attractive whorls around the procumbent stems, forming a loose and trailing groundcover
- blanketing white inflorescences in mid-Spring make this a flowering groundcover
- usually melts out (dies back) during the heat and drought of Summer, even in
- stems lodge (fall over) in early Summer to expose the center of the
- can be mildly invasive under optimum conditions, especially where moisture is adequate for Summer-long flushes of growth
- zones 4 to 8
- native to Europe and the Mediterranean area
- low perennials that can double as flowering groundcovers (Geranium sanguineum, Hosta 'Kabitan', Phlox subulata, Pulmaria saccharata 'Mrs. Moon', Symphytum grandiflorum, Vinca minor, etc.)
- the species form is practically the only form available
- Galium is derived from a similar plant known to the Greeks for its
ability to curdle milk.
- odoratum refers to its slight fragrance when crushed.
- this plant was formerly classified as Asperula odorata.
- Sweet Woodruff is a flowering groundcover or spreading perennial for shady sites.
- Galium odoratum is a groundcover with exquisite, whorled leaves that form a solid mat of foliage when densely planted, having white blossoms in late Spring and best placed in moist, well-drained sites in partial to full shade.
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