The sweet-smelling Woodruff is common all over the country, and when dried its perfume is like new-mown hay. It grows in woods and on shady hedge-banks, and it flowers in early summer.
The flowers are small and white, with four petals which stand round the mouth of a tiny tube. Inside this tube are four yellow-headed stamens, and there is a small green sepal-cup in which the white tube stands. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of the main stem. They do not rise from each circle of leaves as in the Goosegrass. The tiny seeds are black, and each seed is thickly covered with soft bristles, which are hooked at the end.
The ridged stem of the Woodruff is often a dull red colour. This stem is very feeble, so the Woodruff is usually found lying in a tangle along the ground. It has not so many hooks as the Goosegrass with which to catch hold of other plants, and so raise itself.
The leaves grow about an inch apart on the stem, in beautiful circles. In each circle there are eight narrow leaves which are pointed at the end. The circles nearest the foot of the stem lie flat open like a rosette, but those that are further up are usually half closed, with all their points standing upwards.
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