Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense

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.
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
Reference: Dempster 1978 Univ Calif Publ Bot 73:1--33; Soza & Olmstead 2010 Amer J Bot 97:1630--1646
Unabridged Reference: Dempster 1973 Univ Calif Publ Bot 64:1--36; Dempster & Ehrendorfer 1965 Brittonia 17:289--334; Dempster & Stebbins 1968 Univ Calif Publ Bot 46:1--52; Dempster & Stebbins 1971 Madroño 21:71--95
Species: Galium ambiguumView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, low, matted, not woody above ground, generally hairy; dioecious. Stem: erect, 5--16 cm. Leaf: in whorls of 4, 6--16 mm, +- linear, tip +- acute, with long bristle, margin generally ciliate. Staminate Inflorescence: few-flowered clusters. Pistillate Inflorescence: flowers generally 1 in axils. Flower: corolla rotate, +- yellow, +- glabrous to short-fine-ciliate or papillate along margins. Fruit: berry, glabrous to hairy.
Note: Galium ambiguum W. Wight is an illegitimate name. Its replacement name, Galium stebbinsii, is currently not validly published and thus unavailable.
Galium ambiguum W. Wight subsp. siskiyouense (Ferris) Dempster & Stebbins
Habit: Coarse-hairy to glabrous. Leaf: generally thick, glabrous or margins bristly, faces occasionally irregularly or minutely hairy, margins generally convex. Fruit: densely hairy. Chromosomes: 2n=66.
Ecology: Dry, sunny banks and hillsides, open forest, in serpentine or clay loam; Elevation: 160--1750 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR (Del Norte Co.), NCoRO; Distribution Outside California: southern Oregon. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
Synonyms: Galium ambiguum var. siskiyouense Ferris
Jepson eFlora Author: Valerie Soza
Reference: Dempster 1978 Univ Calif Publ Bot 73:1--33; Soza & Olmstead 2010 Amer J Bot 97:1630--1646
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense

botanical illustration including Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense

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Citation for this treatment: Valerie Soza 2012, Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
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©2013 Dana York
Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
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©2017 Steve Matson
Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
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©2017 Steve Matson
Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
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©2016 Keir Morse
Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
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©2020 Neal Kramer

More photos of Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Galium ambiguum subsp. siskiyouense:
KR (Del Norte Co.), NCoRO
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).