Also known as
Sticky Bob, Cleavers, Stickyweed, Velcro Plant, Clivers, Bedstraw, Goosegrass, Catchweed, Grip Grass, Stickybud, Stickyback, Robin-Run-The-Hedge, Stickeljack, Sweethearts, Common cleavers, Spring cleavers
Galium aparine W by Fornax (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Sticky Willy Overview
Galium aparine is an annual plant in the Rubiaceae family. It has linear leaves with pointed tips arranged in widely spaced whorls of 6-8 leaves on square stems with a rough texture. The rough texture comes from backwards-pointing hooked bristly hairs on the foliage, which allow the plant to securely scramble over structures and other plants. Flowers are small, 4-petalled and coloured white-green, these appear in branching clusters from where the leaves join the stems, termed leaf axils. Flowers lead onto nutlets with hooked bristles, these are rounded and coloured green-purple. This plant is a common weed in the UK, where it is found in hedgerows, scrubland and gardens. It spreads easily through the use of its textured foliage, clinging to human clothing and animal fur.
How to propagate Sticky Willy
Propagate by division or fresh, ripe seed in early spring or autumn.
Special features of Sticky Willy
Other uses of Sticky Willy
Found in woodland or waste land. It is edible and can be juiced as a spring tonic, or lightly steamed.