Galium pedemontanum (Bell.) All.
Family - Rubiaceae
Stems - To 25cm tall, 4-angled, 1.5mm broad, antrorse strigose and villous, herbaceous, from thin taproot, multiple from base, simple. Nodes of mature stems fairly evenly spaced at about 2cm apart.
Leaves - In whorls of 4, sessile, 5mm long, 2.5-3mm broad, entire, elliptic to oblong or narrowly lanceolate, antrorse strigose, villous below, ciliate-margined, with prominent midrib.
Whorl of leaves.
Inflorescence - 1-4 flowers in axillary cymules. Typically two cymules per axil. Peduncles to 1.7mm long, villous.
Flowers - Corolla yellowish, 1.2mm broad, 4-lobed. Lobes .3mm long, elliptic. Stamens 4, alternating with corolla lobes. Filaments to .1mm long. Anthers yellow-orange. Styles 2. Stigmas globose. Ovary 2-carpellate, glabrous. Fruit reflexed, to +1.5mm in diameter, glabrous.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, grassy fields.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This is weedy
little plant with minute flowers. It is recently introduced into Missouri
but is spreading rapidly. The fruits are smooth so they do not cling to
clothing and hair, but still the plant manages to propagate itself readily.
Photographs taken at Alley Spring, MO., 6-27-03.