Robin-run-the-Hedge, Maiden's Hair, Strawbed, Cheese Rennet,
Native perennial across the
or waste ground often near the sea.
Short grassland and hedgebanks in sunny sites or partly shaded
Low growing, spreading
groundcover plant. The
bright yellow flowers are lightly honey-scented and appear between July
The plant got its common name from the mediaeval legend that the
Virgin Mary lay on a bed of Lady's Bedstraw at the inn in
because the donkeys had eaten all the other fodder
in the stable. It also led
to the belief that a woman lying on a bed of Lady's Bedstraw would have
a safe and easy childbirth. The
yellow flowers were once used in the North of
milk. The leaves and stems produce a yellow dye and the roots produce a
red dye. Herbalists claimed
that the plant was a remedy for urinary diseases, epilepsy & gout.
It contains a chemical, coumarin, which when made into the drug
dicoumarol will prevent blood from clotting.
Source of food for the caterpillars of the Elephant Hawk, Galium
Carpet, Plain Wave & Riband Wave, Bedstraw Hawk, Archer's Dart and
Red Chestnut Moths.
Sowing Instructions for Seed:
Sow seed in spring or autumn in a greenhouse or cold frame. When
the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual
pots. Plant the seedlings
out into their final position in summer.
Planting in autumn will produce slightly earlier flowering than a
plants and seeds are of native British origin.