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RUBIACEAE

MADDER FAMILY

Lauramay T. Dempster

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine, tree
Leaves generally opposite, entire; stipules generally on stem, sometimes leaf-like (then leaves apparently whorled and stipules considered leaves), adjacent pairs sometimes fused
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, cluster, or flower solitary, generally terminal and ± axillary
Flower generally bisexual; calyx generally ± 4-lobed, sometimes 0; corolla generally radial, 4-lobed; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, generally included; ovary generally inferior, chambers generally 2 or 4, style 1, ± fused if 2
Fruit: 2 or 4 nutlets or a berry, drupe, or capsule
Genera in family: ± 500 genera, 6000 species: worldwide, especially tropical; many cultivated (including Coffea , coffee; Cinchona , quinine; many ornamental)
Reference: [Dempster 1979 Fl CA 4(2):1–47]

GALIUM

BEDSTRAW, CLEAVERS

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes ± shrubby, often ± dioecious, glabrous or hairy, often scabrous
Stem when young 4-angled
Leaves in whorls of 4 or more, including leaf-like stipules
Inflorescence: panicle, or axillary clusters of 1–many flowers
Flower bisexual or unisexual (with sterile stamens or pistils); calyx 0; corolla generally rotate, sometimes ± bell-shaped, generally greenish, fading yellow or white, sometimes reddish, lobes generally 4; ovary 2-lobed, styles 2, ± fused basally
Fruit: 2 nutlets or 1 berry
Species in genus: ± 400 species: worldwide, especially temp
Etymology: (Greek: milk, from use of some species in its curdling)
Hairiness of ovary and fruit generally ± equal on a single plant; staminate plants often identified only by association with pistillate.

Native

G. californicum Hook. & Arn.

CALIFORNIA BEDSTRAW

Perennial or sometimes ± woody above ground, low, tufted, or ± climbing, dioecious, ± hairy
Stem 5–90 cm
Leaves in whorls of 4, ± petioled, 3–20 mm, ovate to elliptic; tip acute to obtuse
Staminate inflorescence: clusters; flowers few
Pistillate inflorescence: flowers generally solitary in axils
Flower: corolla rotate, yellowish
Fruit: berry, ± hairy
Ecology: Moist, ± shaded sites, open slopes, forests, canyons, bluffs
Elevation: 15–1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges, Inner North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, n Channel Islands, Western Transverse Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains.

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