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Crosswort

Crosswort is the only other yellow-flowered bedstraw to grow in Scotland. The old Scots Gaelic name is Luc Na Croise. It has broader and softly hairy leaves, which makes it easy to distinguish from Lady’s Bedstraw, though its flowers also share the same honey fragrance. It enjoys lime-rich grasslands, roadsides and open woodland and grows mainly in the South. It is very rarely found in the North of Scotland.

The plant has a creeping habit. Its stems are sprawling, square-angled and branching at the base. Leaves grow in whorls of 4 at intervals up the hairy stems. Leaves are stalk-less, oval but pointed at the tip and covered in fine hairs like the stems.

The tiny yellow flowers of Crosswort sprout in tight clusters from the angles where the leaf bases meet the stem. These whorls of leaves and flowers grow more numerous towards the top of the stems, giving them a stacked appearance. After flowering small black berries form on the stems which resemble blackcurrants.

The leaves of Crosswort are edible and can be cooked like spinach or eaten as a salad leaf.

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