Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Woodruff

Galium odoratum

This pretty ground cover with tiny white flowers blooms in my scented garden every spring. Although I’ve read reports of it becoming invasive, it is remarkably well behaved in the shaded area of the garden. It may be an ideal ground cover under trees and shrubs.

Some say it prefers a slightly alkaline soil - some say slightly acidic. I think any rich, moist soil will do. I’ve noticed that it turns brown in the hot summer sun in other locations.

According to UK’s Herb Society, “Sweet woodruff can be found being used medicinally and as a means of sweetening the air in records dating back as far as the 14th century.”
The scent is said to be like new mown hay and vanilla. Dried leaves were often used in potpourri.

I may dry some this year to witness the scent for myself.
(Read more about Sweet Woodruff at UK’s Herb Society’s Herb of the Month.)


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Lovely, Marie. I believe I tried some, and it burned up. Now that I have more shade than sun, it might be worth trying again.

donna said...

There's a small town in far northern Wisconsin named Woodruff. Wonder if it got its name from the plant. Seems like I've noticed more sweet woodruff growing in people's yards than ever before. Thanks for the nice post and informative, too.

Marie said...


If Sweet Woodruff can't take the Texas heat I'm sure it will let you know.

Marie said...


Thanks for your kind comment. Interesting about Woodruff, Wisconsin. I wonder, too, if that's how it got it's name.