Finding the location of woodruff in nature
The woodruff is not the same in all regions of Central Europe. However, it is a typical forest plant that prefers to grow in shady locations under trees and bushes. The woodruff is particularly widespread in beech and other deciduous forests, but it also occurs in coniferous forests. Under suitable conditions, the woodruff that covers the ground spreads over larger areas within a few years via root reproduction and seeds. Places with woodruff growth in the forest are most likely to be found during the flowering period from around mid-April to May.
- Clearly recognize woodruff in the forest and collect it safely
- Plant woodruff properly in the garden
- Preserve woodruff properly
Clearly identify the plant
Before you pick herbs or other plants in the forest as decorations or for use in food, you should be clearly certain that they are non-toxic. With the woodruff, regular consumption in large quantities can cause discomfort and also have a toxic effect on the human liver, but otherwise woodruff consumed in moderation is more health-promoting. You can recognize the woodruff in the forest by his stems up to 30 centimeters long, on which the narrow leaves are arranged in whorls around them. In spring, numerous white flowers appear at the tips that look like a cross. A smell test can also provide certainty, because the typical woodruff taste can also be perceived as an odor on the fresh plants.
Pick and process woodruff correctly
The woodruff develops its strongest aroma in the course of the year shortly before its flowering in spring. Then the green stalks are cut off just above the ground with a knife or a herb sickle. When picking woodruff in the forest or in the garden, always leave enough parts of the plant so that the woodruff can recover and multiply again until the next year. You can process the woodruff as:
- Seasoning herbs in salads
- Flavor for desserts
- in drinks like the woodruff punch
Tips & Tricks
Products like the Maibowle made with the woodruff get an even more intense taste if you dry the harvested stalks for one night and allow them to wither.