Botanical name: Galium aparine. Galium is derived from the Greek word Gala, meaning "milk". Aparine is derived from a Greek word that means "to seize".
Other common names: Stickwilly, Stickyweed, Catchweed, Cling-Tight, Robin-run-the-hedge, Coachweed, Everlasting Friendship, Grip Grass, Loveman, and Sweethearts.
This plant acts like velcro when it comes into contact with fabric and other materials. Cleavers have angled teeth that grow along their stems as a means of survival. The stems of the Cleaver plant are too weak to support the plant, therefore Cleavers grow taller by growing up and latching onto the foliage and stems of other plants for support.
Cleavers are in the Madder family of plants. This is notable because the seeds of Cleavers can be roasted and makes an excellent caffeine free coffee substitute.
The plant can also be eaten as a pot herb after boiling for about 15 minutes. It’s best used with other herbs that taste better.
Control: Hand removal and toss on the backs of unsuspecting passers-by. They won't know they've hauled it off for you until they get home and remove their clothes.
Search Library Topics Search Newspaper Columns