SassafrasBirdsnest ferns and Syzygium floribundum

Botanical name           Asperula asthenes

A common name          Trailing Woodruff


I'll have a look in Spring

Young plant

Wait a bit



Reasonably mature

  Asperula asthenesAsperula asthenes can be found in all the damper gulleys on Sassafras, on South facing hillsides, up to the top along the fence, really anywhere with a little bit of filtered sun and moisture, I could go so far as to say ubiquitous if it is moistish. 

I was having a look for something else and came across the vulnerable listing for it on the web and thought, hmm, that's been found here. 

If you go to the right kinds of places it takes a just a few minutes to start finding Trailing Woodruff, tune the eyes and look inside the other plants or look for wispy spreading plants on the open ground.  The plant you are looking for in this photo is under the branch and to the right of the branch.

Asperula asthenes tends to grow in among other plants, it has tiny hairs on the leaves that it grab hold of other plants and twigs to scramble through them.  It doesn't do all that well on its' own out in the open.

This first group of 3 photos came from a South facing hill side, about 30m away from the creek.
Asperula asthenes Trailing WoodruffTrailing Woodruff tends to get buried, so long as the competition is not too intense it grows over the top again.
Trailing WoodruffAsperula asthenes keeps on growing upwards though it never seems to get any more robust, the stems are quite delicate and break very easily.
Asperula asthenesThis photo is from a gully, the stream in it has been running for most of the past couple of years or so, it does not rate a mention on a map though.

The Trailing Woodruff is growing over a Pittosporum mulitflorum which is about 50cm high.
Asperula asthenesThis is on the gully bottom, about 2 metres away from the plant above.

One of the interesting features of Asperula asthenes is the stipules.  It seems to have whorls of 4 leaves, in fact 2 of those leaves are actually stipules, not true leaves.

The smaller pair of each set of 4 are the stipules, sometimes it is a little hard to see which is the smaller pair, I suspect it is the stipules which are rounded.

I'll keep an eye out for flowers during the year and I'm fairly certain I will find some seedlings if I look hard enough.