Description: A clambering annual covered in small hooks that help it ‘cleave’ to anything it touches. Can be several metres high. Leaves are in whorls; small white flowers are followed by pairs of small ball-like fruit.
Habitat: Hedgerows, farmland, stream banks and gardens.
Distribution: Common all over the British Isles. Native to Eurasia and North America; widespread but introduced in the southern hemisphere.
Also known as goose grass, clivers and sticky-willy, this common roadside plant clambers all over hedges and other plants in a green mass in high summer. It sends up bright green shoots from January onwards, being one of the first plants to sprout.
Cleavers is a wonderfully gentle lymphatic cleanser and a fantastic spring tonic, helping clean up our system after winter. It soothes irritated membranes of the urinary tract and promotes urine flow, and is useful for many mouth and throat problems.