Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Galium aparine L.
- Family: Madder (Rubiaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: This is the only bedstraw that consistently has as many as 8 leaves in a whorl.
- Habitat: Damp thickets, wet meadows, floodplain woods, disturbed areas, abandoned land.
- Habit: Annual, mat-forming herb.
- Stems: Sprawling or trailing, up to 3 feet long, 4-angled, each angle with sharp, retrorse,
- Leaves: Simple, whorled in groups of 6-8 at each node, linear to oblanceolate, short-pointed
at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, hairy, the veins and the edges of the leaves covered
with sharp, short, hooked prickles, up to 2 inches long, up to 1/4 inch wide.
- Flowers: Several in compound cymes; each flower up to 1/6 inch across.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 4, white, united below, each lobe up to 1/12 inch long.
- Stamens: 4.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, bristly; styles 2.
- Fruits: Dry or a little fleshy, consisting of 2 segments, brown or black, up to 1/4 inch wide,
covered with small hooked bristles.
- Notes: This species is also known as cleavers, rough bedstraw, or goose-grass.
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