Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Asperula odorata

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    Galium odoratum formerly Asperula odorata


    The name of the plant appears in the thirteenth century as 'Wuderove,' and later as 'Wood-rove' - the rove being derived, it is said, from the French rovelle, a wheel, in allusion to the spoke-like arrangement of the leaves in whorls. In old French works it appears as Muge-de-boys, musk of the woods. Some of the old herbalists spelt the name Woodruff with an array of double consonants: Woodderowffe. Later this spelling was written in a rhyme, which children were fond of repeating: W O O D D E, R O W F F E.


    Traditional name

    Stellina odorosa,
    Master of the wood
    (Old English) Wuderove. Wood-rova.

    German: Echter Waldmeister.

    Französisch: Aspérule odorante, petit muguet, muguet des bois

    Used parts



    Sinonimi ;Galium odoratum (L.) Scop.
    Genus: Galium (GAL-ee-um)
    Species: odoratum (syn. Asperula odorata)


    Original proving

    Description of the substance

    The Details:
    Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
    Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
    Hardy from USDA Zone 4 to USDA Zone 8
    Light requirements: Light Shade
    Moisture Requirements: Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
    Blooming Time: Early
    Bloom Color: White
    Scented,the leaves are mildly fragrant when dried
    This plant is grown for its fragrance


    As a rule, the plant is not cultivated, but collected from the woods, but it might be grown under orchard trees and can be propagated,  by seeds, sown as soon as ripe, in prepared beds of good soil, in the end of July or beginning of August,  by division of roots during the spring and early summer, just after flowering. Plant in moist, partially shaded ground, 1 foot apart.

    The Sweet Woodruff, a favourite little plant growing in woods and on shaded hedgebanks, may be readily recognized by its small white flowers (in bloom in May and June) set on a tender stalk, with narrow, bright-green leaves growing beneath them in successive, star-like whorls, just as in Clivers or Goosegrass, about eight leaves to every whorl. Unlike the latter, however, its stems are erect and smooth: they rarely exceed a foot in height, their average being 8 or 9 inches. The plant is perennial, with creeping, slender root-stock. Being a lover of woods and shady places, its deep-green foliage develops best in the half-shade, where the sunlight penetrates with difficulty. Should the branches over shadowing it be cut away, and the full lightfall upon it, it loses its colour and rapidly becomes much paler.

    Bristly seed balls appear after the flowers. Very distinctive and easy to find.The seed is slow to germinate, so it is best to divide  established plants in spring or fall, or to take cuttings  from mature plants and root them in a mixture of peat moss  and perlite. Space your plants 1 foot apart. Sweet  woodruff is self-sowing once established and can become a  pesky weed. Harvest the leaves in late spring before  blossoms appear; dry them upside down in a dark area. The  leaves and stems can also be frozen for later use.
    When the seed is quite ripe and dry, it is a rough little ball covered thickly with flexible, hooked bristles, white below, but black-tipped, and these catch on to the fur and feathers of any animal or bird that pushes through the undergrowth, and thus the seed is dispersed.