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Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Item #:
Ships April to May 2024
Item #:
Ships April to May 2024
Ornamental Perennials


Hardy, late-spring flowering, perennial herb
Description:  Tiny clusters of scented, pure white, star-shaped flowers appear above delicate, deep green foliage
Habit:  Grows 18" high and spreads indefinitely
Culture:  Prefers partial shade and moist, humus-rich soil; leaves may scorch in strong sun
Hardiness:  USDA Zones 5 through 8
Origin:  Europe, North Africa, Siberia
Attributes:  Fragrant flowers and foliage, Rain garden, Ground cover

This aromatic perennial, native to Europe, North Africa and Siberia, was in cultivation in Britain before 1440, for the sweet fragrance of its dried leaves.  In the mid-16th century, Turner wrote of its sweet woodruff: "They that write of this herbe give it grate commendation for making of the herte merry, and for helping of the lyver".  Later, it became the custom to steep the leaves in wine in preparing summer drinks, and this led to May wine as we know today.  In Flores Poetici: The Florist's Manual (1833), American writer Herman Bourne recommended sweet woodruff among shrubberies mixed in the herbaceous border.  Sweet woodruff also was among the plants brought by early Swedish settlers in Utah by 1850.

Arrives in a 2.5" pot.

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