Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:57 pm
Woodruff is known to many as a flavoring, but few recognize it in the wild. At the same time, the delicate flower makes the medicinal herb also a grateful flowering plant in the garden.
The ideal time to collect woodruff
Identifying and collecting woodruff in the forest is easiest at flowering time, starting in April. The ground-covering plant usually occurs in mass stands due to propagation via root runners. Depending on the location, these bear their cross-shaped, white flowers until May or June.
The use of woodruff
Woodruff was formerly used for the following purposes:
- for flavoring lemonades
- for the production of the traditional May punch
- as a natural medicine for humans and animals
Because of its flowering time, woodruff is sometimes called May herb. Nowadays it is not allowed to be used for making lemonade because of the coumarin it contains, excessive consumption of which can be harmful.
Tips & Tricks
Take a close look at the small blossoms of the woodruff: They are said to have served as the model for the white cross on the Swiss flag.