If ever there was a plant that has blossoms labeled as being nondescript, and the plant itself considered a nuisance and an ugly weed- the wildflower known as Cleavers could be the champion for all such wildflowers.

Haven't heard of a Cleavers? How about one of its other common names: Goosegrass, Stickwilly, Stickyweed, Catchweed, Robin-run-the-hedge, Coachweed, Everlasting Friendship, Grip Grass, Loveman, and Sweethearts? (source1, source2)

Its scientific name is Galium aparine. Galium is derived from the Greek word Gala, meaning "milk". Aparine is derived from a Greek word that means "to seize".

As you have probably gathered from its many "sticky" common names and its scientific name- this plant literally acts like velcro when it comes into contact with fabric- as well as many other materials. Cleavers use the angled teeth that grow along their stems as a means of survival. The stems of the Cleaver plant are too weak to support the plant, therefore Cleavers grow taller by growing up and latching onto the foliage of other plants and uses the other plant as a support to hold it up. Cleavers really are cleavers.

Cleavers are in the Madder family of plants. This is notable because Coffee aribica is also in the Madder family- which means that Cleavers are related to the Arabian Coffee Tree. The seeds of the Cleavers can be roasted and makes an excellent coffee substitute. However, be forewarned (or delighted, as the case may be), that the Cleavers sourced coffee is caffeine free. (source)

Not a coffee fan- then how about some tea? According to the website Annie's Remedy, a very healthy tea can be made from the leaves of the Cleavers plant. Annie's Remedy website is also kind enough to provide the recipe for making Cleaver tea.

The plant can also be eaten as a pot herb after boiling for about 15 minutes. I boiled a few of the plants and then added some butter and seasoning. It was palatable- which is a nice way of saying that you probably wouldn't want to serve it to guests, but that the taste isn't bad.


Eve said...

Well look at that Daniel! I've been pulling these guys out of my gardens and yard since I got here! My realtor showed me how you can roll them in a ball and give em a good toss!!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I had a healthy crop of cleavers growing underneath my virginia sweetspires this spring. They're only a distant memory today. Cleaver ball throwing might be the new Southern snowball fights, eh?

Jenny said...

Hi Daniel, we have cleavers over here too (Britain)along with the same common names for it. When we were kids it was always fun to chuck it at eachother on the way to school!

jo said...

Hello there,

That is my weed-of-the-week as well :-)

Sonica said...

Excellent sharing Thanks for share i am sure its must help me. thanks for doing this.

Growing Plants