• Herb
  • Food forest
  • Edimentals

Sweet Woodruff

Galium odoratum

Attractive shade loving, ground creeping perennial herb with culinary uses.



USES Culinary, Ornamental


Attractive shade loving ground creeping herb with culinary uses. Great ground cover in shady areas. Bears pretty clusters of white, star-shaped flowers in the spring and has fragrant, lance-shaped, dark green leaves. The alpine/vanilla scent of the leaves becomes stronger when dried and can last for years. For this reason Sweet Woodruff was traditionally used as a bedstraw. Easy to grow and readily adapts to a wide range for soil and moisture conditions.

Sweet Woodruff’s leaves have been used as a flavouring agent for beer and wine, as well as tea and fruit drinks. Its leaves have also been used in perfumes, potpourris and wreaths and to lend fragrance to linens.

Commonly used as a ground cover in shady areas. Sweet woodruff is exceptionally easy to grow and readily adapts to a wide range for soil and moisture conditions. It is a deer-resistant plant and is considered one of the few rabbit-proof flowers.

Also known as Sweet-scented bedstraw, Fragrant bedstraw, Wild baby’s breath, Master of the woods.

RECOMMENDED LOCATION Forest garden, Wildlife garden, Ornamental garden

Aspect Shade, Moist shade, Moist partial shade

Height 35cm

Spread 20cm

Hardiness Fully hardy

Prefered soil pH 4.8 - 8.3 (tolerates a wide range)

Management and care Dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

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Sweet Woodruff