Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Galium boreale L.
- Family: Madder (Rubiaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This bedstraw has an upright stem, leaves in whorls of 4, and white flowers in a rather showy, terminal panicle.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, dry slopes.
- Habit: Perennial herb with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, branched, up to 2 feet tall, usually hairy at the nodes, smooth or slightly rough to the touch elsewhere.
- Leaves: In whorls of 4, simple, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, up to 2 inches long, up to 1/4 inch wide, rounded or pointed at the tip, tapering to the sessile base, 3-veined, smooth or slightly rough to the touch, the edge of the leaf ciliate
- Flowers: Many borne in a compact, terminal panicle, rather showy.
- Sepals: Absent or nearly so.
- Petals: 4, white, united below, 1/6 to 1/4 inch across.
- Stamens: 4.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, 2-lobed; styles 2.
- Fruits: 2-lobed, up to 1/10 inch in diameter, smooth or minutely hairy.
- Notes: There is considerable variation in the amount of hairiness on the stem, leaves, and fruits. The fruits may be eaten by small birds and small mammals.
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