The name Bedstraw alludes to the legend in which one of these plants was found among the hay on which Mary, the Mother of Jesus, rested. This yellow-flowered species has been introduced from Europe, and is found from May to September in dry fields locally from Maine to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The bruised plant is sometimes introduced into milk, in order to impart a yellow colour to cheese. It is also used for dying yellow. The roots of this, as well as those of most other species, dye red, and when the plant is eaten by animals, it colours the bones, like madder. It was formerly reputed as a remedy in fits and hysterics, and the fresh juice was applied externally for skin disorders. The Yellow Bedstraw is a single or branched perennial growing from six to thirty inches high. The stem is usually smooth, and the narrow leaves are arranged in whorls of sixes or eights. The numerous yellow flowers are gathered in small, dense terminal clusters, or set at the axils of the leaves.