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Lady's Bedstraw

Price: $ 8.50

Galium verum

Hardy perennial spreading ground cover for part shade. The leaves are edible raw or cooked and the yellow flowers can be steeped to make a refreshing drink. The seeds are said to be edible, and the chopped up leaves can be used as a rennet to coagulate plant milks. The plant has a long history of medicinal uses as a diuretic and for skin complaints, amongst other things, but is little used in modern medicine. The flowers yield a yellow dye which can be used as a food colouring, and a red dye can be obtained from the roots. In the past the dried plant was used as a strewing herb and was said to repel fleas. It was also used as a stuffing for mattresses, hence the name. At the very least it could make useful bedding for chooks, and possibly also a stuffing for homemade toys? Last but not least the flowers attract butterflies. Tolerates moist or dry soil in a sunny or partly shady position, and grows to about 60cm. 9cm pot

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