Scientific name: Galium aparine
What: seeds, leaves, stems
How: seeds roasted for coffee, leaves/stems raw though better cooked; tea from stems & leaves
Where: fields, yards, woods, sunny areas
When: Fall, Winter, Spring
Nutritional Value: Vitamin C
Dangers: They can be eaten raw but their tiny hairs irritate most people. Cooking them removes this problem.
Close-up of cleaver flower.
Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
These common weeds pop up in mid-winter and by spring they form huge clumps of clingy, vine-like plants. In some circles cleaves are known as "backpacker colanders" as a large clump of them can be used as a field-expedient colander for straining pasta of rinsing berries.
Cleavers are often used as a source of vitamin C in assort bottled fruit juices and the same vitamin C benefits can be acquired from cleaver tea. I think young cleavers taste like peas.