Crosswort, Cruciata laevipes


Crosswort is a sprawling, perennial plant, also called Smooth Bedstraw, or Luc Na Croise in Gaelic, with a creeping habit. It can be found on the margins of woodland, in hedgerows and along roadside verges. Although tiny, the yellow flowers it produces smell beautifully of honey. It's stacked, small leaves are arranged in a 'X' formation, which is where it gets it's common name. These whorls of leaves and flowers grow more numerous towards the top of the stems, giving them a stacked appearance. It is little used in herbal medicine today, but it was once recommended as a remedy for rupture, rheumatism and dropsy, and it's edible leaves and flowers may be used in herbal teas, added to salads or cooked like spinach.

Crosswort Checklist


🐑 Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🌊 Waterways, including rivers, lakes and streams.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.


🌞 May - June


☘️ Small, green, hairy and stalkless, growing in whorls of 4 at intervals up the hairy stems. Leaves are oval with a pointy tip.


️🌷 Tiny and yellow, sprouting in tight clusters from the angles where the leaf bases meet the stem. Smell delightfully of honey.


🌱 Stems are sprawling, square-angled and branching at the base.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 After flowering small black berries form on the stems which resemble blackcurrants.

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌷 Flowers
🌱 Stem

Aroma / Taste

👃 The tiny yellow flowers smell devine, and this flavour can be infused in teas.
👅 The leaves are slightly bitter tasting when raw.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The cross-shaped leaves with accompanying whorls of tiny yellow flowers are a key identifier.
👃 Scent is a key identifier.


🥗 Salad - Is usually eaten raw and added to salads.
🥬 Green - Is usually cooked as a vegetable.
☕️ Beverage - Is used to make teas or other drinks.
💊 Herbal Remedy - Is often used medicinally.