Galium aparine has a variety of colloquial names including goosegrass, cleavers and stickyjack. Now I am speaking on a purely personal level but I consider this plant to be the outstanding baddy of the year, if it was a cowboy it would be dressed all in black with an enormous black stetson. It appears overnight poking out from the top of shrubs, around herbaceous plants, out of hedges, in sun, in shade, in wet, in dry you name it. Is no place out-of-bounds? Spreading at a rate of knots to form a tacky mass of unmanageable menace, sticking to hair, clothes and arms as you try to remove it and to add insult to injury bringing me out in hives which can itch for a week. Apparently it is the anthoquinones that cause the skin irritation! It is allegedly an indicator of nutrient rich soil, which may flatter momentarily but I’m not that easily won over, it still remains my current foe of choice.
Of course if you delve deeper it is a helpful herb. The roots can be used to make the red dye galiosin, tinctures and tissanes purportedly can treat jaundice, relieve oedema, kidneys problems and high blood pressure. It is also edible but must be cooked first due to those horrid hooks.
Still bloomin’ annoying to me though.