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Cleavers

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Cleavers

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Cleavers

3.75

(Galium aparine)

Quantity:
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Common Names
Cleavers, Clivers, Bedstraw, Catchweed, Stickyweed

Botanical Name
Galium aparine

Plant Family
Rubiaceae (Coffee Family)

Native Range
Temperate Earth, common in the PNW.

Life Cycle
Annual

Hardiness Zone
3-9

Habit
Cleavers has slender sprawling stems that trail along the ground or up and over whatever will support them such as walls, fences, and other plants. Though not technically a vine, Cleaves attaches itself to whatever it comes in contact with the small barbed hairs that grow all over its stems and leaves.
 
The seeds sprout into the sweetest tiny seedlings with leaves whorled around the stems in fall or spring and grow to about 3ft or so in a season. In late spring they are covered in tiny white star-like flowers which slowly mature and ripen into small green nut-like seeds.

Sun/Soil
Prefers part shade and moist well-drained soil.

Germination/Sowing
Seeds germinate easily and can be direct sown in fall or spring. 

Growing/Care
Needs moisture throughout the growing season. Will self seed and return each year.

Harvesting
The plants can be harvested once they are about a foot tall, the top 6" can be snipped and the plants will regrow. They are most palatable for culinary use in early spring before the plants mature. Medicinally they are most potent in early bloom.

Culinary Uses
In the springtime Cleavers greens can be harvested and eaten as a green. In the wild you often find it growing with its buddies Chickweed (Stellaria media) and Nettle (Urtica dioica) and I often harvest the three together and use them in my kitchen to make stews, soups, braising greens, smoothies, pesto and whatever else I can squeeze their goodness in. 

It is said that the seeds can be harvested and roasted for use as a coffee substitute; Cleavers being in the same family as coffee it apparently yields decent results.

Medicinal Uses
Cleavers is popular in the western herbal mat med for its use as an alterative and diuretic. It is wonderfully cleansing and nutritive, full of minerals and vitamins. Its constituents sweep through the lymph system and help brush it clean, helping to restore healthy lymph flow. I can help you to recover after a chronic illness, or infection. Cleavers is energetically cooling and drying is indicated for hot and moist constitutions with reoccurring swollen glands and seasonal allergies.

Cleavers is a plant very near and dear to my heart. It has taught me so much about myself, and my own patterns around clinging, untangling and getting perspective. It is a plant that has taught me about what I need to be able to stand tall on my own, and I return to this plant again and again for guidance.

Themes
Apothecary Garden, Woodland Garden, Native Plant Garden, Wild Foraging.