Galium aparine  (including G. spurium) bedstraw; cleavers Rubiaceae GAAP2; Bx, pb, sd, sv (Torrey 2017), wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY, hb, iw; Q, c, cu, f, ft, j, wl; K, m; R, bd, c, gb, h, lp, ok, r;



Galium (Accessed 4/2014).

Galium aparine is an annual herb, from a small taproot, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988); prostate, or climbing over low vegetation, somewhat translucent-succulent, bright green, stems to 1 m long, branched from base, not branched much above, stem rough, clinging-scratchy, sharply 4-angled. 

Leaves stalkless (sessile), in whorls of 4-8, rough, narrow, to 1-8 cm long, to 0.8 cm wide, tip with small bristle, coarsely hairy above, minutely spiny on midrib below and along margins (use lens). 

Flowers whitish, tiny, 0.2 cm wide, 4-parted, 3-5 in axillary clusters on stalks, fragrant; blooms May-June; flowers self pollinated, but are visited by a number of beetles, flies, bees, wasps and Lepidoptera. 

Fruit dry, of 2 fused, bristly, balls, to 0.4 cm, each side with one seed; fruits June-July, dispersed by adhesion to fur or clothing, foliage tends to die upwards as seeds ripen; seeds germinate only if covered by soil. 

Wetland status: FACU. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Apparently G. aparine is both native and introduced from Eurasia. Plants of G. aparine from woodlands on the Atlantic coast are reportedly native, while those of disturbed, sites are probably introduced (Malik and Vanden Born 1988), Listed by USDA, NRCS (2006) as native. 

Galium 2/2015).

Galium (Accessed 2/2015).

Habitat: Disturbed woodland edges or open areas, fill, trailsides, fairly shade tolerant. Prefers rich, moist soil, pH 5.4-7.5 (USDA, NRCS 2006). Intolerant of full shade. Dispersal to and establishment in new sites in successional forest, contiguous to old regrowth stands has been calculated at a rate of 1.94 m/yr. (Matlack 1994).

Notes: Reported to be allelopathic, inhibiting germination of seeds of some other plants. Galium spp. contain toxic anthraquinones and other secondary compounds that may have anti-fungal properties. The fruits have been used as a substitute for coffee. Galium aparine is host to various Aphids including the gall-formers Aphis galiiscabri and Galiobium langei. Other invertebrates that feed on G. aparine include five sawfly species and several nematodes. Fungi found on G. aparine include the rusts Puccinia punctata and P. rubefaciens, the powdery mildews Erysiphe cichoracearum and E. polygoni, the leaf spot fungi Cercospora galiiMelasmia galii, and Septoria aparine, and the stem spot Rhabdospora galiorum (Malik and Vanden Born 1988).