|SWEET WOODRUFF FLOWERS...|
|...WHORL OF LEAVES...|
|...AS GROUND COVER|
Sweet woodruff, Galium oderatum, formerly Asperula oderata, in the family Rubiaceaea, is a common garden perennial, native to much of Eurasia, and much used as a ground cover. I find it a delightful plant, very fragrant, especially when dried.
Sweetwoodruff is traditionally used to make May wine, an old-world tradition. A few sprigs of flowering sweet woodruff, picked fresh and steeped for a week or so in almost any white wine, makes a refreshing and somewhat different drink. I think it is pretty good, but Joan doesn't care for it. The plant has interesting whorled leaves and umbels of minute white flowers. It has another common name, sweet bedstraw, denoting its use in Medieval times.
Sweet Woodruff spreads from rhizomes as well as seeds, and I find it grows particularly well under and around pine trees where not much else will grow because of acid soil, shade and root competition.
A poet,true to God and Art, not dead,
In his life-space not read
But when generations gone full read,
Is like sweet woodruff,
In whose leaves men find small perfume
Until they be dead.
Anonymous and Ancient