Information on Lady's Bedstraw

Common Name: Lady's Bedstraw
Scientific Name: Galium verum
Irish Name: Bolach cnis
Family Group: Rubiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Lady's Bedstraw is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


A very common plant throughout Ireland, Lady's Bedstraw is a slightly downy short and sprawling perennial with tiny bright yellow 4-petalled flowers (2-3mm ) which are borne in a leafy cluster on branched, square stems.  The leaves are narrow with down-rolled margins and are in whorls of 8-12.  The flowers, which appear from June to September, have an attractive hay-like smell.  Lady's Bedstraw belongs to the family Rubiaceae and is a native plant.

I first identified this flower in Killiney, Co Dublin in 1976 and photographed it in Co Wicklow in 2003. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Bedstraw, Lady's
Bedstraw, Lady's

As its name might suggest, Lady's Bedstraw was traditionally used to stuff mattresses.  There is also a legend that Mary lay on a mattress of Bedstraw during the Nativity