Galium aparine   Cleavers or Goosegrass CCC DD N

Galium aparine whole Galium aparine fruit

This is our most common plant in the Galium genus and a persistent garden weed. The feature everyone notices is the way the burred seeds attach themselves so easily to clothes particularly wool. This accounts for other common names like Sticky Willy.

The young plants were once chopped up and given to young goslings hence one of its other common names: Goosegrass. Cleavers the current common name arises because of the old English meaning of cleave meaning to belong to or to adhere to. The barbs which are visible in the photo enables the whole plant to stick to itself and to other plants so it climbs up the hedges or border plants.

Except for the most northerly of Scottish highlands, this plant is found throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

Northwich 17th June 2005

Added on 30th October 2005, updated 20th January 2009, updated 31st March 2010

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