Galium aparine

Cleavers                                                                                                        Κολλητσίδα

Rubiaceae - bedstraw family                                                                                Dicot.


Like many weeds, Galium aparine, has many common, often local names; in English: cleavers, bed-straw, sticky buds, sticky willy, robin-run-by-the-hedge; in Greek: kolisida (kολλητσίδα), galio (γάλιο), aparini (απαρίνη). The names reflect its historical use or its physical characteristics. The whole plant is covered with stiff hook-like hairs and the weeds are loved by children who enjoy throwing the seeds (sticky buds) at their friends. The clasping stems grow rapidly forming a tangled mass in hedges or amongst crops. The flowers are short lived leading to the belief, referred to by Theophrastus, that the plant does not have flowers but forms seeds internally:

“ its habit is like that of weasels and sharks; for, as these animals likewise

produce eggs in themselves and then bear their young alive, so this plant

keeps its flowers within itself, matures it and produces fruit.” Theophrastus.

2 mm, 40-150cm,
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galium - from Greek for milk - gala (γάλα)

aparine from aparaxo (αρπάζω)- Greek to seize

Gagea graeca
Galium heldreichii.