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.
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.