Galium anglicum Huds.

Wall Bedstraw


CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 8

© SRTurner

Family - Rubiaceae

Galium_anglicum_habit.jpg Growth habit.

© SRTurner

Habit - Annual forb, sometimes becoming slightly hardened at the base at maturity.

Galium_anglicum_roots.jpg Roots.

© SRTurner

Stems - Ascending to erect, usually weak, sometimes clambering, often branched and/or tufted, 4-angled, roughened with minute, prickly, downward-curved hairs on the angles.

Galium_anglicum_stems.jpg Stems and leaves.

© SRTurner

Galium_anglicum_stem.jpg Stem and nodes.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Whorled, sessile, usually 4-6 per node, spreading or downward-angled in orientation. Leaf blades 1-6 mm long, 0.5-2.0 mm wide, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong or linear, angled or short-tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the midvein sometimes extended into a minute, sharp point, angled to truncate at the base, not glandular on the undersurface, with only the midvein visible, the margins with minute, stiff, prickly hairs and usually curled under.

Galium_anglicum_leaf1.jpg Leaf whorl, adaxial.

© SRTurner

Galium_anglicum_leaves2.jpg Leaves abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescences - Terminal and axillary from the uppermost leaves, the axillary ones not pendant, positioned over the leaves, consisting of small clusters, these usually grouped into small panicles with mostly 2 or 3(4) branch points and relatively short, ascending to less commonly spreading branches.

Galium_anglicum_inflorescences.jpg Inflorescences.

© SRTurner

Galium_anglicum_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Relatively few, the stalks 0.5-2.0 mm long. Corollas 0.4-0.6 mm long, 4-lobed, white.

Fruits - Schizocarps about 1 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, 2-lobed, the surface glabrous, smooth to granular.

Galium_anglicum_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Glades, ditches, cemeteries, lawns, open disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Lookalikes - G. divaricatum; also other small species of Galium, including G. virgatum and G. concinnum.

Other info. - This small introduced bedstraw is uncommon in Missouri, known so far from only a few counties, mostly in the southern part of the state. It has also been found in a few widely scattered locations in the southeastern and northwestern regions of the continental U.S. Being very small with minute flowers, the plant is very easily overlooked. Once found it is identifed by its very small, whorled nodes of typically 6 leaves, and inflorescence branches which ascend from the main stem. Individual flowers (or fruits) are usually 2-3 branch points out in the inflorescence. The fruits are glabrous and lack the hooked bristles which characterize several more common species in the genus.

This species was formerly known as G. parisiense L. var. leiocarpum Tausch. It is cloesly related to G. divaricatum and has been misdetermined as that species in the past.

Photographs taken at Weldon Spring Conservation Area, St. Charles County, MO, 6-2-2020 (SRTurner).