Cleavers are a widespread herb, with well known
burs that stick to almost everything, especially to clothes.
Everything is sticky: the stem, the leaves
and the seeds are burs.
flowering of cleavers
Cleavers flower in june with numerous tiny white
flowers that produce pairs of seeds covered in
hooked hairs. These burst can attach themselves
to clothing or animal fur, rabbits and birds.
Cleavers are very common in gardens, hedges and
in low shrubs. If the ground is fertile and moist
there growth is very rapid, they end up shading out
other plants that they overrun.
Cleavers as a weed
Cleavers are the most competative weed in cereals,
and is for that reason the focus of much research.
Cleavers attache themself to the stem and leaves
of the grain. By growing in the grain they compete
with the light, shading the grain and it to ground,
making it useless. The trailing plants also
interfere with harvesting equipment.
Cleavers germinate in two periodes: in autumn and
early winter and in the spring.
Those cleavers that germinate before the winter
are by far more important in producing crop damage.
Also if the summer months are rainy, cleavers are
much more vigorous and have a greater effect on
crop yield. The later-germinating weeds appear
to have almost no effect on crop yield,
Cleaver weed control
Remove the cleaver by hand from your field, use a
handkerchief. Scout the cereal fields early because
the weed is most sensitive to herbicides in its
early growth stages.
Use certified seed that is free of cleavers
Cleavers are edible
Cleavers are edioble if cooked , as they are covered
with small hooks. But they are not very taste at all.
Cleavers as a food for animals
There are many animals on a farm that love to eat cleavers:
Chicken , goose and other poultry are fond on them, but also rabits
and guinee pigs. They are also helpfull in spreading the burs.
Cleavers cause irritation sometimes
Handling this plant by removing it from youre garden may
cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
The stam is flexible and strong, its covered with little hooks.
The vascular bundles are placed in the centre,
just like the liana's or Clematis or Vitis (wild grape.
The hooks are placed on the corners.
In this way it will stick to grasses and will
easely bent in the wind. near the ground the
stam is normally build , without hooks
The stam of cleavers have the vasculair bundels
in the centre.
The stam of cleavers is normally build near the ground.
These seeds are spread by animals (and humans), they stick
to tails of horses and cows , the fur of rabits or the wings of birds:
It is a form of epichory: the spread of the seed from plants with
low investment of energy in the seed. Have a look at these examples:
1 burdock (Arctium sp.)
2 wood forgetmenot (Myosotis)
3 Cleavers (Gallium aparine)
4 avens (Geum urbanum) 5 alfalfa (Medicago)
6 beggarticks or stickseeds (Bidens)
7 common agrimony or sticklewort (agrimonia eupatoria)
8 sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
9 Bidi-bidi (Acaenae novae), new Zealand
10 common ragweed (Ambrosia artimisiifolia)
11 enchanter's nightshad (Circaea lutetiana)
12 sweet cicely( Osmorhiza) USA
13 american stickseed (Hackelia deflexa ) USA