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Title: Sherardia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Savage Islands, William Sherard, Flora of Taiwan, Flora of Canada
Collection: Flora of Africa, Flora of Asia, Flora of Australia, Flora of Canada, Flora of Costa Rica, Flora of Cuba, Flora of Ethiopia, Flora of Europe, Flora of Haiti, Flora of Iran, Flora of Kazakhstan, Flora of Lebanon, Flora of Madeira, Flora of Mexico, Flora of New Zealand, Flora of North Africa, Flora of Pakistan, Flora of Russia, Flora of Saudi Arabia, Flora of South Africa, Flora of South America, Flora of Sudan, Flora of Taiwan, Flora of the Azores, Flora of the Canary Islands, Flora of the United States, Flora of Turkey, Monotypic Rubiaceae Genera, Rubieae, Savage Islands
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Blue field-madder
Sherardia arvensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Rubieae
Genus: Sherardia
Species: S. arvensis
Binomial name
Sherardia arvensis
  • Asperula sherardia Hallier
  • Asterophyllum scherardianum Schimp. & Spenn.
  • Galium sherardia E.H.L.Krause
  • Hexodontocarpus arvensis (L.) Dulac
  • Sherardia affinis Gand.
  • Sherardia agraria Tornab.
  • Sherardia elliptica Gand.
  • Sherardia maritima (Griseb.) Borbás
  • Sherardia pantocsekii Gand.
  • Sherardia umbellata Gilib.

Sherardia is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. The genus contains only one species, viz. Sherardia arvensis or (blue) field madder, which is widespread across most of Europe and northern Africa as well as southwest and central Asia (from Turkey to Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan) and Macaronesia (Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira, Savage Islands).[1] It is also reportedly naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Kerguelen, Ethiopia, Sudan, southern Africa, Mexico, Costa Rica, South America, Bermuda, Cuba, Haiti and much of Canada and the United States (especially the Pacific States and the lower Mississippi Valley).[2][3][4]


  • Description 1
  • Uses 2
  • Taxonomy 3
  • Image gallery 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Sherardia arvensis is an annual plant with trailing and upright stems growing up to 40 cm long, having a square cross-section. The rough pointed bristly leaves of about 1 cm in length are in whorls of four to six (normally six at the ends of the shoots, but four nearer the root).

The tiny pale lilac or pink flowers are approximately 3 mm in diameter and have a long tube, with only the end part of the four petals free. The flowers grow in clusters of two or three together in an involucral structure formed out of a ring of six bracts.

The fruit are dry and about 3 mm long with two lobes giving rise to the two seeds (nutlets).

The four-angled stems with whorls of bristly leaves and tiny flowers are reminiscent of the [7]


The genus and species were described by Carl Linnaeus in Hortus Cliffortianus in 1736 [8] and also appeared in his masterwork Species Plantarum in 1753.[9] The genus was named in memory of the prominent English botanist William Sherard (1659–1728).[8] The Latin epithet arvensis means that it is found in fields.

Image gallery


  1. ^ in the World Checklist of Rubiaceae"Sherardia". Retrieved April 2014. 
  2. ^ Sherardia arvensisKew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families,
  3. ^ Sherardia arvensisAltervista Flora Italiana,
  4. ^ )Sherardia arvensis (synonym of Galium sherardiaBiota of North America Program,
  5. ^ Clapham AR, Tutin TG, Warburg EF (1981). Excursion Flora of the British Isles (3 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 299. 
  6. ^ a b "Field madder on UC IPM Online". 
  7. ^ Georgia AE (1914). "Sherardia arvensis". A manual of weeds. The Macmillan Company. 
  8. ^ a b Linnaeus C (1737). Hortus Cliffortianus. Amsterdam: George Clifford. p. 33. 
  9. ^ Linnaeus C (1753). Species Plantarum. p. 102. 

External links

  • in the World Checklist of RubiaceaeSherardia
  • USDA Plants Profile
  • Plants of Missouri
  • Sherardia arvensisWildflowers of the United States,
  • Sherardia arvensisCalflora taxon report,
  • )Sherardia arvensisUniversity of California at Davis, Integrated Pest Management On-line, Field Madder (
  • Sherardia arvensisTela Botanica,
  • Sherardia arvensisNews from Rockcliff Farm, Natural Gardens of North Carolina, Blue Field-Madder,
  • Sherardia arvensisHerbario de la Universidad Pública de Navarra,
  • Sherardia arvensisFlora Vascular,
  • Sherardia arvensisWilde Planten in Nederland dn Belgie, Blauw walstro, Blauslyt, Field Madder, Rubéole des champs, Ackerröte,
The fleshy roots, though much inferior to the common madder ([6] is a common weed of fields, pasture, grassland, and disturbed areas.Sherardia arvensis



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