• synonyms


  1. a rubiaceous plant, Galium verum, or some allied species, formerly used as straw for stuffing mattresses.
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Origin of bedstraw

late Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at bed, straw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bedstraw

Historical Examples of bedstraw

  • It feeds at night on bedstraw (Galium), in the spring to May, after hibernation.

    The Moths of the British Isles, Second Series

    Richard South

  • By way of the lower heaven of bedstraw blooms the eye rises easily to the forest of jewel-weeds.

    Old Plymouth Trails

    Winthrop Packard

  • Chafe Litter is he that wyll plucke vp the Fether-bed or Matrice, and pysse in the bedstraw, and wyl neuer ryse vncalled.

  • It feeds on goose-grass (Galium aparine), and other kinds of bedstraw, in May and early June.

  • It feeds at night on bedstraw, and various low-growing herbage, including grass.

British Dictionary definitions for bedstraw


  1. any of numerous rubiaceous plants of the genus Galium, which have small white or yellow flowers and prickly or hairy fruits: some species formerly used as straw for beds as they are aromatic when drySee also lady's bedstraw
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012