Cleavers Sticks to You

Cleavers (sometimes called bedstraw) is a weed that grows in a lot of places in my yard.  There are native varieties, but I don’t think this is one of them because of the red flowers.  This stuff grows all over other plants and makes a big, sticky mess.  According to Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon, it is called Cleavers which is derived from a word that means “clinging to clothes”.  Why does it do this?  Let’s take a closer look.

See the pointed hooks all over the stems and leaves?  They look like sharp teeth and when you touch this plant you definitely feel them.  When it sticks to your clothes it is working a lot like velcro- or should I say velcro works a lot like Cleavers!

For more posts about plants and trees, check out this post and others at Berry Go Round.

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