Cruciata laevipes Opiz

2477 (1). C. laevipes 0piz, Sesnam (1852) 34; Ehrend., Fl. Eur., IV (1976) 37; Galium cruciata (L.) Scob., Fl. Carn., ed. 2, II (1772) 100; Vel., Fl. Bulg. (1891) 235; Стоян. Стеф., Фл. Бълг, изд. 1, II (1925) 1054; et auct. Fl. Buig.; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc., II (1930) 473; Valantia cruciata L., Sp. Pl., ed. 1 (1753) 1052; Galium cruciata var. laxum Vel., Sitzungsb. Böhm. Ges. Wiss. (1899) 4 — Енево цвете, Обикновена гергевка

Fam:   Rubiaceae Juss.
Genus:   Cruciata Miller
Species: Cruciata laevipes Opiz
English Name: Crosswort, Smooth bedstraw or Luc na croise


Perennial plant. Rhizome thin, creeping, in nodes with numerous additional roots, with long underground shoots. Stems (15-) 20 - 60 (-70) cm tall, simple or branched, erect or ascending near the base, evenly or sparsely fibrous with 1 - 2 mm long hairs, rarely glabrous, smooth or rough, mostly at the edges with curved back little spikes; middle internodes (4,5-) 5,0 - 10,0 cm long. Leaves 10 - 20 mm long, 4 - 8 (-10) mm wide, oblong-elliptic, broadly lance to ovate, gradually narrowed, pointed, or obtuse, with straight edges, with 3 veins, medium convex, wider from the lateral ones, scattered to densely fibrous or glabrous, only along the midrib with protruding long bristles, pale green in the area of ​​the inflorescence, lying down to the stem during fruiting, the edges slightly curled. The umbels are shorter than the leaves, with 5 - 10 flowers, at the base with 2- (-3) oblong elliptical or lance (2,5-) 3,0 - 5,0 (-8,0) mm long bracts. Inflorescence and flower petioles short fibrous, curled down at the fruit. Medium flowers bisexual, lateral with stamens. Corolla 2 - 3 mm in diameter, yellow or pale yellow, with ovoid gradually pointed shares. The style 0.3 - 0.4 mm, the partitions free to the base. Nuts one or two, 1.5 - 2.7 mm in diameter, globose, glabrous.

7 Флора на Народна република България, т. IX

From:    „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989)

*     *     *     *     *
Cruciata laevipes is a species of flowering plant in the family Rubiaceae. It is commonly known as crosswort, smooth bedstraw or Luc na croise in Gaelic.[2] The Latin epithet laevipes refers to the smooth stalk.


This perennial sprawling plant can grow to a height of 15–70 cm (6–28 in), spreads by seeds and stolons and has, unusually amongst this group, yellow hermaphrodite flowers. The inner flowers are male and soon fall off, whilst the outer are bisexual and produce the fruit. The flowers smell of honey. Of the whorls of four leaves, only two in each group are real leaves, the other two being stipules.[3] It is associated with arbuscular mycorrhiza that penetrate the cortical cells of the roots. In the United Kingdom it flowers April to June.[4] Pollination is by bees and flies.[5]

Distribution and habitat

Cruciata laevipes is found in most of Europe as well as from northern Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, and the western Himalayas.[1] It is also reportedly naturalized in Ontario County in New York State.[6] Cruciata laevipes is found in meadows, road verges, riverbanks, scrub and open woodland, generally on well-drained calcareous soils.[7]


Cruciata laevipes is little used in herbal medicine today, but it was once recommended as a remedy for rupture, rheumatism and dropsy.[8] Bald's Leechbook recommended crosswort as a cure for headaches.[9]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*     *     *     *     *

Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - VI, fruitful: VII - VIII.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing in grassy moderately humid places, in meadows and bushes, forest meadows, in orchards, along roads, in the plains and mountains. Widespread, from 100 to 1900 m above sea level. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Western, Central and Southern Europe, Southwest Asia (Asia Minor, Iran), Caucasus, Western Himalayas. Transferred to North America.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


© K.Nanev


© Copy right: K. Nanev© 2012. All rights reserved