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PLANT PROFILE LIST

 Galium aparine b.jpg Galium aparine01.jpg Galium aparine001.JPG Galium aparine2 W.jpg  

NAME: Cleaver

SPECIES / 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: small

 

COMMENT: Cleaver/Goosegrass “cleaves” or sticks to things, because as it matures it is covered with small hooks which makes it unpalatable to eat raw at that time. So, eat it when it's young. // “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.// Eat cleavers in very small amounts at first. Cook very thoroughly. If you get a rash when harvesting, don't eat them at all. If you experience scratchiness in the back of the throat, especially if the plants were very well cooked, don't eat them. Do a skin test. Don't eat cleavers if you are pregnant, may become pregnant or nursing, or are on high blood pressure and/or blood thinning medications. (7) 
 

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
  7. http://foragedfoodie.blogspot.com/2016/03/identifying-cleavers.html
  8. http://www.myhealthyhomemadelife.com/spring-foraging-5-ways-use-cleavers (recipes)
  9. https://theherbalacademy.com/cleavers-for-spring-cleansing (recipes, etc)
  10. https://backyardpatch.blogspot.com/2012/03/cleavers-herb-of-week.html (recipes)
  11. http://www.juliasedibleweeds.com/general/cleavers (recipes)