PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Cleaver

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Galium aparine / Rubiaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Goosegrass, Bedstraw

CONDITIONS: sun/shade, almost any type of soil
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

bitter

RAW/COOK

Spring

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520 young

bitter

COOK

Spring

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

coffee

ROAST

Summer/Fall

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION:

 

COMMENT: Covered with small hooks, Cleaver/Goosegrass “cleaves” or sticks to things which makes it unpalatable to eat raw at that stage. “The tender young shoot tips - raw or cooked as a pot-herb and in soups. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute…it merely needs to be dried and lightly roasted and has much the flavour of coffee. A decoction of the whole dried plant (but not roots) gives a drink equal to tea.”(1)

 

CAUTION: Boil shoots and young leaves for 15 minutes. (2) Eat raw only very young leafs as older ones can stick in the throat.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  It is said that using this plant as a vegetable has a slimming effect on the body… Goosegrass (Cleaver) has a long history of domestic medicinal use and is also used widely by modern herbalists…Alterative;  Antiphlogistic;  Aperient;  Astringent;  Cancer;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Homeopathy;  Skin;  Tonic;  Vulnerary. (1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  Carpetweed

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Cleanser;  Dye;  Filter;  Tinder. A red dye is obtained from a decoction of the root. When ingested it can dye the bones red. The dried plant is used as a tinder. The plant can be rubbed on the hands to remove pitch (tar). The stems are placed in a layer 8cm or more thick and then used as a sieve for filtering liquids.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galium+aparine
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/galium-aparine-goosegrass-on-the-loose-2 
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_aparine
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/cleaver.html (good photos)
  5. http://www.ediblewildfood.com/cleavers.aspx (good photos)
  6. https://plighttofreedom.com/cleavers