Object: Galium sp - Bedstraw - 'cheese rennet'

Image Credits

Galium ordoratum, Sweet Woodruff or Sweet Bedstraw,  Wikimedia Commons

Object Type(s)

Seeds of Galium species were found in the archeological excavation of lower Manhattan in the layers of soil relating to the 17th century.     There are more than 600 species of Galium, and more research is necessary to identify the specific species.    It is possible that Galium odoratum, also known as sweet bedstraw or Sweet Woodruff, may have been imported by the European settlers.    This plant contains coumarin, which gives it a sweet scent, and it is also used in cooking.   It has naturalized in the Hudson Valley.



See Joel Grossman's work on plants in New Amsterdam here:  https://www.geospatialarchaeology.com/index.html 

See a detailed article on the archeology of plant life in New Amsterdam by Joel Grossman, PhD. here.  Courtesy of the Holland Society of New York.