As opposed to lady's bedstraw, field madder is a fairly rare plant in the Netherlands. It usually germinates in the winter so that it starts to blossom in early summer, continuing through autumn. Like all madder species, the long slender pointed leaves lie in the shape of a star. The lowest group contains four leaves, further up the stem six leaves and at the top eight leaves. Field madder grows mostly in clay and chalky regions. It originated in the Mediterranean Sea region and has since spread throughout Europe and western Asia. Along the Dutch sea coast, it is only found on Texel, Ameland and sea dikes in the delta region. Not everyone is happy with this plant. It is considered a weed by farmers who find it growing among their crops.