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Sweet Woodruff

SKU: AM020526
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plant - 3" pot
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Sweet Woodruff is a vigorous, attractive, shade-loving groundcover. It produces whorls of emerald green foliage around its stems. Plants naturalize conditions to form a dense, low-growing mat, making a great groundcover for shaded gardens and beneath shrubs and trees. Sweet Woodruff is blanketed with tiny fragrant white flowers that form in loose clusters in early to mid-spring, attracting bees and other pollinators. Decorative foliage becomes highly fragrant as it dries. (Galium odoratum)
key features
Botanical Name
Galium odoratum
Groundcover, Naturalizes, Dried Flowers, Fragrant
Growing Zones
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Soil Moisture
Average, Moist / Wet
Mature Height
6-12" tall
Mature Spread
8-18" wide
Bloom Time
Early to mid spring


Sweet Woodruff is an easy-to-grow groundcover native to Northern Africa, Asia, and Europe. Plants behave quite differently depending on growing conditions. It grows vigorously or even aggressively in moist, loamy, or amended soils in partial to full shade, through creeping rhizomes and reseeding; Sweet Woodruff is considered invasive in Oregon. In cool climates and clay soils, plants will spread manageably, forming a dense groundcover without taking over. In dry or sunny locations, plants may go dormant during the summer. Sweet Woodruff will survive in dry shade, but not grow as lush as with plenty of moisture. Space plants about a foot apart for even coverage. To minimize competition with other plants, Sweet Woodruff can be planted beneath large shrubs and trees, including Black Walnut. It can be divided in spring. Dried foliage smells of freshly mown hay with hints of vanilla, and the scent lasts for years after drying; it has long been used for its fragrance in Europe and around the world, as a popular choice for dried flower arrangements, potpourri, and sachets. Sweet Woodruff is hardy in zones 4-8 and is resistant to browsing by deer and rabbits.