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Galium aparine


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The sticky weed, goose grass or whatever it maybe called where you live is superabundant here this year. Great curtains of it everywhere.

sticky weed.jpg

Result is that every day I am brushing combing and pulling out those tiny hooked seeds from Angus's coat. Angus pulls out quite a few by himself.  Amazingly he eats the ones he pulls off! I thought what if it sticks in his throat - but it never does.

I use brush and com and fingers. Many of them, we both have to get off one by one. Most of it gets on the front of his body as he pushes through the brush at the edge of the fields - came out trailing green stems all round him this morning after eager "I almost got it Mom" chase after big, slower than usual, bunny. If I don't get it off right away it works down in his fur and knots up - then it is a problem rather than just an annoyance.

Here's what I got off just his face and head today.

sticky willy.JPG


Is this weed good for anything I wondered. Could it be harmful to Angus eating it? So I looked it up. Here's what I found.

Veggies anyone? Coffee? Comfy bed? Useful strainer? Heal bites and stings?


Galium aparine is edible. The leaves and stems of the plant can be cooked as a leaf vegetable if gathered before the fruits appear. However, the numerous small hooks which cover the plant and give it its clinging nature can make it less palatable if eaten raw.[14][15] Geese thoroughly enjoy eating G. aparine, hence one of its other common names, "goosegrass".[16] Cleavers are in the same family as coffee. The fruits of cleavers have often been dried and roasted, and then used as a coffee substitute which contains less caffeine.[3][17]

Folk medicine

Poultices and washes made from cleavers were traditionally used to treat a variety of skin ailments, light wounds and burns.[18] As a pulp, it has been used to relieve poisonous bites and stings.[19] To make a poultice, the entire plant is used, and applied directly to the affected area.[20]

Other uses

Dioscorides reported that ancient Greek shepherds would use the barbed stems of cleavers to make a "rough sieve", which could be used to strain milk. Linnaeus later reported the same usage in Sweden, a tradition that is still practiced in modern times.[18][21]

In Europe, the dried, matted foliage of the plant was once used to stuff mattresses. Several of the bedstraws were used for this purpose because the clinging hairs cause the branches to stick together, which enables the mattress filling to maintain a uniform thickness.[15][22] The roots of cleavers can be used to make a permanent red dye.[23]




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Those seeds are awful!  We went to a party a few years ago and took the dogs along.  There was a fenced area where they could play, so we let them frolic for a while.  They both ended up covered in those seeds - I was picking them out for days afterwards.  

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They are horrid to get out! Rosie's breeders new stud dog after he went through the bushes!

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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