Sweet Woodruff (Galium Odoratum)

Are you looking for a sweet-scented plant with multiple uses? If so, then sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is the perfect choice! This beautiful perennial can be used to scent linens, as a medicinal herb, and even as an attractive groundcover. Sweet woodruff is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance; it can also provide numerous benefits in your garden or home. Read on to learn more about this unique plant and discover why it might be just right for you!

What Is Sweet Woodruff?

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is a low-growing perennial herb that grows up to about 20 cm tall and can spread quickly to create dense mounds. It has small white star-shaped flowers that appear in the late spring, and its leaves are fragrant when crushed. Sweet woodruff was traditionally used as a herbal remedy for headaches and insomnia, as well as in perfumes and potpourris. It’s also a popular choice for ground cover or rock gardens since it requires little maintenance once established. The foliage of sweet woodruff is especially attractive during the summer months and will take on a golden hue with age. Deer tend to avoid it due to its strong scent, so it’s often used in landscaping to protect other plants from being eaten by deer.

Sweet Woodruff
Galium Odoratum

Uses of Sweet Woodruff

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) has been used in a variety of ways since its discovery. It’s most notably known as an ingredient in the traditional German beverage, May Wine, which is made with white wine and sweet woodruff syrup. The herb has also traditionally been used to flavour liqueurs such as Chartreuse and other herbal preparations. Sweet woodruff can also be brewed into a tea or tincture, which can be consumed for its calming effects.

In addition to being used in beverages, sweet woodruff has some surprising culinary applications. The leaves can be added to salads or used to make a refreshing herbal tea. They are often served with boiled potatoes or eggs as part of a light meal. Additionally, the flowers are edible and can be candied or added to desserts like cakes and ice cream for an extra special touch. Finally, many people enjoy using sweet woodruff in potpourri recipes because it adds fragrance and colour to any room.

Growing Sweet Woodruff

With its delicate and fragrant foliage, you can easily bring the beauty of sweet woodruff into your garden. Sweet woodruff is a low-growing perennial herb that is native to Europe. It prefers partial shade to full sun and well-drained soil. Add plenty of organic matter when planting it in your garden and water it regularly for best results. If grown in less than optimum conditions, the plant may become leggy or sparse over time. Pruning helps keep it looking neat and tidy throughout the season. To propagate sweet woodruff, divide established plants in early spring or late fall, or collect seed heads for sowing indoors during winter months. Once established, this hardy plant will reward you with an abundance of fragrant flowers from spring through summer!

Caring for Sweet Woodruff

Caring for your sweet woodruff requires regular watering and occasional pruning to keep it looking its best. During the summer months, make sure to water your sweet woodruff frequently, especially during periods of hot weather. If you live in an area with lower rainfall, supplement with weekly watering to ensure that your plants remain healthy and vibrant. Prune your sweet woodruff regularly throughout the growing season. Trim back any dead or damaged branches or stems to encourage new growth and help shape the plant into a desired form. To prevent disease, sterilise any tools used on sweet woodruff before using them on other plants in your garden. Additionally, dispose of any clippings away from the plant to avoid spreading pathogens.

sweet woodruff
Closeup shot of sweet woodruff

Medicinal Properties of Sweet Woodruff

This fragrant herb has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, from upset stomachs to insomnia. Sweet woodruff contains several compounds that are thought to be responsible for its medicinal properties, including coumarin and asperuloside. Coumarin is known for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects, while asperuloside has been studied for its possible use in treating conditions like diabetes and cancer. Sweet woodruff also contains tannins which can help reduce inflammation and protect against infection, making it an effective remedy for skin problems like eczema. In addition, this herb is said to have diuretic properties which can aid in detoxing the body by promoting urination. It’s even been suggested that sweet woodruff may help regulate hormones associated with stress and anxiety, helping with sleeping issues such as insomnia. As such, it’s become increasingly popular among herbalists looking for a natural way to treat illnesses and improve overall health.

Benefits of Planting Sweet Woodruff

You can reap the rewards of planting Sweet Woodruff in your garden, as it is known for its medicinal properties and fragrant aroma. Not only does this herbaceous perennial provide a unique scent to any outdoor space, but it also has many other benefits. Sweet Woodruff grows best in shady areas with damp soil, making it an ideal choice for gardens or yards that don’t get much direct sunlight. It’s a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep and can spread quickly if given the right conditions. Its evergreen foliage provides texture and color to your yard all year long, without having to replant every season. Sweet Woodruff also attracts pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds which helps increase biodiversity in your area. Furthermore, this plant contains natural pest repellent which keeps away unwanted insects from invading your garden. Planting Sweet Woodruff is an easy way to enjoy its versatility while adding beauty to your outdoor living space!


With its sweet scent, attractive foliage, and lovely flowers, sweet woodruff is a great addition to any garden. Not only does it look beautiful, but it also has many medicinal properties that can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Plus, it’s easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance. So why not add some sweet woodruff to your garden today? You won’t regret it!

The benefits of planting sweet woodruff are numerous—it adds colour and fragrance to your garden while offering natural remedies for various health issues. With its delightful smell and pretty blooms, you’ll be glad you added this amazing plant to your outdoor space!

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