• Wildlife Friendly Otley

Cleavers

Also known as Goosegrass or Catchweed, the Cleavers name is thanks to this sticky plant’s tendency to ‘cleave’ to human clothing or animal fur. There's an urban myth that this plant’s stickiness was what inspired the creation of velcro, but in fact it was burdock seeds, known as burrs. However they use the same method of dispersion as cleavers, both are covered with hundreds of microscopic ‘hooks’ that catch onto the natural ‘loops’ that cover fur, clothing and hair. Cleavers belong to the same group as coffee plants and its seeds are ground up and used as an alternative, the whole plant is rich in vitamin C and the stickiness apparently goes away with cooking.

By River Six















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