Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera | Map
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Galium aparine

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RubiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to tree, vine. Leaf: generally opposite (whorled), entire; stipules generally fused to stem, adjacent pairs occasionally fused, or occasionally leaf-like and appearing like whorled leaves. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, spike, cluster, or flower 1, generally terminal and +- axillary. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx +- 4(5)-lobed, occasionally 0 (Galium, Crucianella) or 6 (Sherardia); corolla generally radial, 4(5)-lobed; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, generally included; ovary generally inferior, chambers generally 2 or 4, style 1(2). Fruit: drupe, berry, or 2 or 4 nutlets [capsule].
Genera In Family: +- 500 genera, 6000 species: worldwide, especially tropics; many cultivated, including Coffea, coffee; Cinchona, quinine; many ornamental. Note: Diodia teres Walter doubtfully in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: GaliumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BEDSTRAW
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, occasionally subshrub, glabrous to hairy, generally scabrous; dioecious, bisexual, or flowers unisexual and bisexual. Stem: 4-angled, occasionally ridged lengthwise. Leaf: generally in whorls of >= 4, including leaf-like stipules. Inflorescence: panicles, axillary clusters (cymes), or occasionally 1 in axils. Flower: bisexual, or unisexual with sterile stamens or pistils; calyx 0; corolla generally rotate, occasionally +- bell-shaped, generally +- green, yellow to white, occasionally pink or red, lobes generally 4; ovary 2-lobed, styles 2, bases +- fused. Fruit: 2 nutlets or berry.
Species In Genus: +- 650 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Etymology: (Greek: milk, from use of some species for curdling) Note: Ovary and fruit generally +- equally hairy on a pl; staminate plants generally identified by vestigial ovaries, pistillate plants generally by vestigial anthers. Galium saxatile L., Galium schultesii Vest, and Galium verum L. are lawn weeds in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Valerie Soza

Galium aparine L.
Habit: Annual, climbing or prostrate, occasionally short, erect; clings by small, hooked prickles. Stem: 3--9 dm, weak, brittle. Leaf: in whorls of 6--8, 13--31 mm, proximal-most petioled, +- round, distal sessile, +- narrowly oblanceolate. Inflorescence: flowers few on branchlets in most axils. Flower: bisexual; corolla rotate, +- white. Fruit: nutlets; hairs many, short, hooked. Chromosomes: 2n=20,22,42,44,63,64,66,+-86,88.
Ecology: Grassy, +- shady places; Elevation: 30--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc DSon); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern North America; Europe. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul Note: Weedy in gardens; if recognized taxonomically, small plants with slender, pointed leaves, +- yellow petals assignable to Galium spurium L.
eFlora Treatment Author: Valerie Soza
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Galium angustifolium subsp. onycense
Next taxon: Galium argense

Name Search
botanical illustration including Galium aparine


Citation for this treatment: Valerie Soza 2017. Galium aparine, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2017.

Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2015 Barry Breckling
Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Galium aparine
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Galium aparine in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Galium aparine:
CA (exc DSon);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.