White bedstraw / Hedge bedstraw (Galium album, Galium mollugo)
The bedstraw is a perennial species with a large root system. They reach a growth height of up to 100 cm. Both species have a square stem with linear leaves standing in a leaf whisk.
The main difference lies in the size of the flowers and the length of the flower stems. The larger bedstraw has a flower diameter of 3 – 5 mm diameter on one to 3 mm long flower stem.
The smaller bedstraw, on the other hand, has a flower diameter of only 2 – 3 mm and the flower stem is longer than 3 mm.
Both bedstraws are inhabited by fatty meadows and semi-dry grasslands and are found on fresh, alkaline-rich loam and clay soils.
Effect of bedstraw
The feed value of the plants is moderate, fresh shoots are eaten as wild vegetables.
The roots of the bedstraw were used to dye wool and linen red.
The plants contain the enzyme rennet, which is also found in the calf’s stomach and is used to make fresh cheese.
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