Wild Harris

Lady's Bedstraw

ladys bedstraw 3dLCampbell.jpgLady's Bedstraw & Wild Thyme    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

The Lady’s Bedstraw is the yellow flower in this picture.

As you might guess from the name, this plant used to be what matresses were stuffed with. The name comes from the legend that Mary lay on a mattress of bedstraw when she gave birth to Jesus. In Germany, this flower is called Mary’s Bedstraw.

The flowers contain a substance that can be used to make cheese from milk – in Denmark the name is nothing to do with mattresses – it is called after its use in cheese-making.

The tiny yellow flowers are clustered together on the stem. They smell a bit like honey, and attract lots of butterflies. It is one of the most common plants on the machair.

ladys bedstraw 2bLCampbell.jpgLady's Bedstraw    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

By Alison Tyler