Galium pedemontanum (Bell.) All.

Galium pedemontanum plant

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.

Galium pedemontanum stem

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.

Galium pedemontanum leavesWhorl of leaves.

Inflorescence - 1-4 flowers in axillary cymules. Typically two cymules per axil. Peduncles to 1.7mm long, villous.

Galium pedemontanum inflorescence

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.

Galium pedemontanum flowerFlower close-up.

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.
Care should be taken not to willingly distribute this species as it is non-native.

Photographs taken at Alley Spring, MO., 6-27-03.