Plant, Tree & Shrub Library

Sweet Woodruff Galium

Galium odoratum

Add To My Wish List

print page
Sweet Woodruff Galium (Galium odoratum) at Bachman's Landscaping

Sweet Woodruff Galium in bloom

Sweet Woodruff Galium in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sweet Woodruff Galium (Galium odoratum) at Bachman's Landscaping

Sweet Woodruff Galium flowers

Sweet Woodruff Galium flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5


A vigorous and spreading groundcover for a woodland or shade setting; attractive whorled foliage and tiny white flowers in spring; prefers organic, slightly acidic soils; tough yet quite delicate-looking, putty in the hands of a talented garden designer

Ornamental Features

Sweet Woodruff Galium features dainty lightly-scented white star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in mid spring. Its fragrant narrow leaves remain light green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Sweet Woodruff Galium is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Sweet Woodruff Galium is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Sweet Woodruff Galium will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Flowers  Texture  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features