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Vascular Plants of California
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Key to Galium

View taxon page for Galium

(For a list of species in Galium, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Annual

2. Corolla  generally 3

3. Fruit hairs hooked; leaves in whorls of 4, in 2 unequal pairs, or distal-most generally ; flowers generally 1 in axils ..... G. bifolium

3' Fruit glabrousleaves in whorls of 4–6; flowers several in axils ..... G. trifidum (2)

4. Plant weak, sprawling; stems generally >= 10 cm ..... subsp. columbianum (2)

4' Plant tufted or matted; stems generally <= 15 cm ..... subsp. subbiflorum (2)

2' Corolla  generally 4

5. Nutlets sausage-shaped, hooked hairs unevenly distributed ..... G. murale

5' Nutlets ± sphericglabrous or hooked hairs evenly distributed, occasionally with hair-like tubercles

6. Leaves in whorls of 3–4 and some fruit hairs hooked ..... G. proliferum

6' Leaves in whorls of 5–8; fruit hairs hooked or not, or 0

7. Plant , very slender;  <= 9 mm

8. Fruit glabrous generally weakly  ..... G. divaricatum

8' Fruit hairs generally hooked, or 0;  generally  in age ..... G. parisiense

7' Plant generally climbing to trailing, coarse;  12–31 mm

9. Fruit hairs hooked; nutlet pair < 4 mm wide;  slender,  to  ..... G. aparine

9' Fruit with  tubercles only; nutlet pair > 4 mm wide;  stout ..... G. tricornutum

1' Perennial herb or shrub

10. Corolla generally 3-lobed; fruitnutletssphericglabrous, hard ..... G. trifidum (2)

11. Plant weak, sprawling; stem generally >= 10 cm ..... subsp. columbianum (2)

11' Plant tufted or matted; stem generally <= 15 cm ..... subsp. subbiflorum (2)

10' Corolla generally 4-lobed; fruitnutlets, variously shaped, glabrous to hairy, or berry

12. Fruit hairs hooked

13. Leaves in whorls of 4 ..... G. oreganum

13' Leaves in whorls of 6 ..... G. triflorum

12' Fruit hairs 0 or not hooked

14. Flowers always 

15. Leaves in whorls of 4 ..... G. boreale

15' Leaves in whorls of 5–12

16. Corolla bell-shaped; ovary with short, upcurved hairs ..... G. mexicanum subsp. asperulum

16' Corolla ovary glabrous or small-tubercled ..... G. mollugo

14' Flowers generally unisexual, either anthers or ovaries small, sterile, or sometimes flowers unisexual and 

17. Fruitberryglabrous to short-hairy

18. Leaves in whorls of 6 ..... G. hardhamiae

18' Leaves generally in whorls of 4

19. Plant low, generally cushion-like, generally not woody above ground

20. Leaf often ± bristle- or awl-like, sometimes  to , sharp to touch, ± thick ..... G. andrewsii

21. Plant dense, main stem obscure, leaf generally awl-like, ± keeled; plant glabrous ..... subsp. andrewsii

21' Plant elongate or ± dense generally > , main stem obvious or not, leaf wider than awl-like, flat,  or ; plant hairy or not

22. Plant open, occasionally hairy, main stem obvious;  generally flat,  to , generally  ..... subsp. gatense

22' Plant ± dense, generally glabrous, main stem ± obscure;  ± flat to ± keeled, ±  or lance-linear, generally  ..... subsp. intermedium

20' Leaf  or  to (ob)ovate, not sharp to touch, generally thin

23. Leaf ± margins ± flat or convex, generally  ..... G. ambiguum

24. Leaf generally thin, ± fine-hairy, margins ± flat; ovaryfruit generally glabrous to velvety ..... subsp. ambiguum

24' Leaf generally thick, generally glabrous or margin bristly, margins generally convexovaryfruit densely hairy ..... subsp. siskiyouense

23' Leaf  (obovate) to  or , edges rolled under (strongly so, if  linear) or not, not  or hairs not restricted to margin

25. Leaf margin strongly rolled under; SCoRO ..... G. clementis

25' Leaf generally  (obovate) to margin not or ± rolled under; NW, CW, SW, SN

26. Leaf shiny, sparsely hairy, 6–10 mm; stem generally glabrous ..... G. muricatum

26' Leaf ± hairy, not shiny, 2–25 mm; stem generally hairy ..... G. californicum (2)

27. Leaf length 5–8 × width; n SNF ..... subsp. sierrae (2)

27' Leaf length 2–4 × width; NW, CW, SW

28. Flower, fruit glabrous; plant congested, woody at base, generally cushion-like; n ChI ..... subsp. miguelense (2)

28' Flower, fruit hairy to glabrous; plant not woody, generally open; NW, CW, SW

29. Plant low, stem <= 16 cm;  generally <= 6 mm; n Santa Lucia Range, SCoRO ..... subsp. luciense

29' Plant generally not low, stem generally > 16 cm;  generally > 6 mm; NCoR, CW, SW

30. Hair short, fine; SCo, SnJt ..... subsp. primum (2)

30' Hair long, coarse to fine (0); not SCo or SnJt

31. Hairs generally coarse, sparse; NCoRO, NCoRI, CW ..... subsp. californicum (2)

31' Hairs generally fine, dense (0); SCoRO, n ChI, WTR, SnGb ..... subsp. flaccidum (2)

19' Plant often climbing, ± woody above ground

32. Plant generally with  prickleswoody stem generally long, slender, climbing or sprawling

33. Leaf tip  to  to rounded, generally short-pointed, generally not sharp to touch, terminal hair generally not persistent ..... G. porrigens

34. Leaf widely  to  ..... var. porrigens

34' Leaf ±  ..... var. tenue

33' Leaf tip generally , generally sharp to touch, terminal hair persistent

35. Leaf  to  to ; plant not densely tangled, green; SCoRO, WTR

36. Plant not shiny; stem wiry faces hairy; generally < 200 m, CCo, SCoRO ..... G. californicum subsp. maritimum

36' Plant shiny; stem stout faces ± glabrous; >= 200 m, SCoRO, WTR ..... G. cliftonsmithii

35' Leaf ±  to narrowly ; plant densely tangled, red in age; SCo, ChI, WTR, PR ..... G. nuttallii

37. Plant hairs generally 0; ChI ..... subsp. insulare

37' Plant hairs minute, sharp, curved; SCo, WTR, PR ..... subsp. nuttallii

32' Plant prickles generally 0; woody stem generally short, climbing or not

38. Leaf generally ± glabrous to  or scabrous

39. Leaf narrow to , ± inflorescence branchlets ± stoutcorolla generally red ..... G. bolanderi (2)

39' Leaf widely  to , ± petioled; inflorescence branchlets thread-like; corolla generally ± yellow ..... G. sparsiflorum

40. Leaf glabrous, generally , ± leathery ..... subsp. glabrius

40' Leaf  to ± , generally thin ..... subsp. sparsiflorum

38' Leaf generally hairy

41. Stem ± stout, ± stiff; montane

42. Plant sprawling or climbing, forming dense clumps; flower yellow, hairy externally, throughout; fruit hairy;  generally widely ; SnGb ..... G. grande

42' Plant tufted or ± climbing, not forming dense clumps; flower generally red, glabrous to sparsely hairy at base; fruit glabrous to hairy;  generally ; n of SnGb ..... G. bolanderi (2)

41' Stem wiry, slender; often coastal, insular, sometimes montane ..... G. californicum (2)

43. Leaf length 5–8 × width; n SNF ..... subsp. sierrae (2)

43' Leaf length 2–4 × width; NW, CW, SW

44. Flower, fruit glabrous; plant congested, woody at base, generally cushion-like; n ChI ..... subsp. miguelense (2)

44' Flower, fruit hairy to glabrous; plant not woody, generally open; NW, CW, SW

45. Hair short, fine; SCo, SnJt ..... subsp. primum (2)

45' Hair long, coarse to fine (0); not SCo or SnJt

46. Hairs generally coarse, sparse; NCoRO, NCoRI, CW ..... subsp. californicum (2)

46' Hairs generally fine, dense (0); SCoRO, n ChI, WTR, SnGb ..... subsp. flaccidum (2)

17' Fruitnutletshair generally long, straight to strongly curved

47. Flowers unisexual and 

48. Herbstem generally slender, flexible, base woody; mainland

49. Leaf  to round,  to inflorescence narrow, branches short, ±  ..... G. parishii

49' Leaf  to oblanceolate,  to inflorescence open, branches longer,  ..... G. wrightii

48' Erect shrubstem rigid, stoutwoody; ChI

50. Ovary hairs short, curved, ; n ChI ..... G. buxifolium

50' Ovary hairs long, straight,  (or ± 0); s ChI ..... G. catalinense

51. Stem hairs sparse, generally very short, straight to curved, not curly; San Clemente Island ..... subsp. acrispum

51' Stem hairs ± dense, short, curly; Santa Catalina Island ..... subsp. catalinense

47' Flowers unisexual only

52. Ovaryfruit hairs all short, strongly curved, corolla bell-shaped, divided <= 1/2 to base ..... G. jepsonii

52' Ovaryfruit hairs generally long, straight, corolla generally , or bell-shaped and generally divided > 1/2 to base

53. Leaf ±  to strap-shaped to linear-oblong, generally widest at or distal to middle

54. Distal  >> proximal generally > fruit; fruit hairs < fruit ..... G. johnstonii

54' Distal  ± = proximal generally < fruit; fruit hairs generally >= fruit ..... G. angustifolium

55. Corolla generally glabrous, or not more hairy than stem or 

56. Woody stem  generally < ; plant generally glabrous except leaf margin; n ChI ..... subsp. foliosum

56' Woody stem  generally > ; plant hairy or not; s SN, SCoR, SW (except n ChI), DMtns

57. Plant tall to low, ± stout, generally glabrous to white-hairy; leaves persistent; hills, mtns, not in D ..... subsp. angustifolium

57' Plant tall, slender, generally glabrous except leaves scabrous; leaves deciduous; SnBr, e SnJt, DMtns, DSon ..... subsp. gracillimum

55' Corolla generally hairy (sometimes glabrous in subsp. jacinticum)

58. Stem generally hairy, occasionally scabrous

59. Stem hairs ± equal; stem ridges generally narrower than grooves; SnGb ..... subsp. gabrielense

59' Stem hairs hairs; stem ridges generally wider than grooves; s SNH ..... subsp. onycense

58' Stem ± glabrous

60. Plant 35–60 cm, inflorescence pyramid-shaped, many-flowered, much-branched; DSon (Borrego Desert) ..... subsp. borregoense

60' Plant <= 35 cm; inflorescence narrow, few-flowered, few-branched; SW

61. Plant 17–35 cm;  generally 11–26 mm;  ± = leaves; SnJt ..... subsp. jacinticum

61' Plant 6–20 cm;  generally 2–15 mm;  < 2 × leaves; SnGb, SnBr ..... subsp. nudicaule

53' Leaf generally (ob)ovate to , or ± round (to needle-like in Galium stellatum), generally widest proximal to middle

62. Plant woody at base and extending distally to >= 50 cm

63. Stem flexible, few-branched;   to , tip  to , not sharp at tip; s SNH, TR ..... G. hallii

63' Stem rigid, many-branched;   to needle-like, tip  to , sharp at tip; D ..... G. stellatum

62' Plant woody near base only

64. Stem glabrous

65. Fruit <= 4 mm wide, including hairs

66. Plant flexible;  8–23 mm, flat, tip  to , not sharp to touch ..... G. magnifolium

66' Plant stiff;  2–10 mm, generally arched, tip , sharp to touch ..... G. matthewsii

65' Fruit generally > 4 mm wide, including hairs

67. Inflorescence few-flowered, , little  from leavesfruit 7–10 mm;  tip  to , not sharp to touch; KR, CaRH ..... G. glabrescens subsp. glabrescens (2)

67' Inflorescence many-flowered, terminal, much  from leavesfruit generally 4–7 mm;  tip  to , sharp; n SNH, GB, DMtns

68. Leaves at a  ± equal,  to  to tip, flat to arched; DMtns ..... G. argense

68' Leaves at a  ± unequal, generally ± arched, larger 2  to round, abruptly rounded to  tip; n SNH, GB, DMtns ..... G. multiflorum (2)

64' Stem  to hairy

69. Leaves at a  unequal,  tip generally sharp to touch, abruptly rounded to  to sharp tip

70. Corolla  ..... G. munzii

70' Corolla ± bell-shaped

71. Leaf flat, larger leaves  to ; DMtns (Panamint Range) ..... G. hilendiae subsp. carneum

71' Leaf ± arched, larger leaves  to round; SNH, GB, DMtns ..... G. multiflorum (2)

69' Leaves at a  equal or  tip not sharp to touch,  to 

72. Leaf  to narrowly  ..... G. serpenticum

73. Corolla generally ± cup-shaped;  tip generally flat; KR ..... subsp. scotticum

73' Corolla  tip generally ; Wrn ..... subsp. warnerense

72' Leaf  to (ob)ovate or round

74. Fruit >= 6 mm, including hairs

75. Plant generally green, minute-puberulent;   to obovate ..... G. glabrescens subsp. glabrescens (2)

75' Plant ± gray, densely short-gray hairy;  widely  to round

76. Leaf generally fleshystem <= 9 cm; DMtns (Panamint Range) ..... G. hypotrichium subsp. tomentellum (2)

76' Leaf not fleshystem <= 27 cm; KR, NCoRH, CaRH, n SNH ..... G. grayanum

77. Plant 5–27 cm, ± open ..... var. grayanum

77' Plant 2.5–14 cm, ± compact ..... var. nanum

74' Fruit <= 6 mm, including hairs

78. Plant woody generally for 3–4 cm above base; inflorescence ± terminal, diffuse, branches many, long, , many-flowered, leaves reducedcorolla bell-shaped ..... G. hilendiae

79. Corolla throat wide;   to ± round; DMoj ..... subsp. hilendiae

79' Corolla throat narrow;   to ; DMtns (Kingston Range) ..... subsp. kingstonense

78' Plant not woody above base; inflorescence , narrow, dense, branches few, short, , few-flowered, leaves often not reducedcorolla  to bell-shaped

80. Leaf thin; corolla ; Wrn ..... G. glabrescens subsp. modocense

80' Leaf generally fleshycorolla  to bell-shaped; SNH, SNE, DMtns ..... G. hypotrichium

81. Plant generally open, tall, 12–30 cm, scabrous, base woody ..... subsp. inyoense

81' Plant generally dense or ± open, short, generally 2–15 cm, scabrous to hairy, base not woody

82. Plant minutely velvety ..... subsp. hypotrichium

82' Plant scabrous to hairy, not velvety

83. Plant green, scabrous to hairy; plant ± openstem <= 15 cm; s SNH ..... subsp. subalpinum

83' Plant gray, ± densely fine-hairy; plant matted; stem <= 9 cm; DMtns (Panamint Range) ..... subsp. tomentellum (2)

 

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