Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is a great statement plant in the shade garden. In spring, the plants are covered with white flowers, and the foliage gives off a sweet smell of hay.
It’s an excellent ground cover for dark corners of the landscape that are difficult to plant. Woodruff is derived from Old English, which means unraveling wood, and probably refers to the creeping rhizomeWhat is rhizome?An underground stem, with nodes and short to elongate internodes. of the plant.
Sweet Woodruff is a perennial flowering plant from the Rubiaceae family, native to large parts of Europe, from Ireland and Spain to Russia, Japan, China, Iran, Turkey, western Siberia, and the Caucasus.
There are over 600 species of flowering plants in the Galium genus.
Sweet woodruff is a carpet-forming perennial most commonly cultivated as a groundcover in shady areas. Typically, the plant grows 8 to 12 inches tall and has aromatic, dark green, lanceolate leaves in 6 to 8 whorls along square stems.
The small, 4-petalled white flowers appear on loose clusters in spring. The aromatic intensity of the foliage increases as it dries, which is why the dried leaves are often used in potpourris or sachets.