Goose Grass (Galium aparine)
Also known as Sticky Weed, it’s often found climbing up other plants or densely covering the ground. It literally grows everywhere in between high rise buildings, cracks in the pavement, up trees of the hedgerows and all over disused land.
The square hollow stems, to 3mm wide, can grow up to 3ft long but are much smaller at this time of year.
The leaves, to 5mm wide, grow from 2-5cm long, are narrow and pointed. They grow in whorls of 6-8 leaves (out from the stem in a concentric circle)
The flower that forms in groups of 2-3 are very small and white. Later the seeds/fruit will form here also in very small balls.
As this plant gets old – after April, it becomes too fibrous for eating but for the month or so before that it’s quite nice mixed in to salads and soups.
The seeds can be collected and roasted as a coffee substitute, however they’re fairly small and difficult to collect – get a set of thermals on and run through them to get the seeds to stick to you, then rub them off over a bin liner or in a bath (the easiest way to collect them)