Comprehensive Description

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Other common names for this species are 'White Bedstraw' and 'Wild Madder.' The outstanding characteristic of Hedge Bedstraw is the large terminal inflorescence and its multitude of small white flowers. Most Galium spp. (Bedstraws) produce much smaller cymes of flowers, often from the axils of the whorled leaves. An exception is the native Galium boreale (Northern Bedstraw), which produces a similar inflorescence. However, Northern Bedstraw is a more erect plant with slightly larger flowers (about ¼" across) and there are only 4 leaves in each whorl. The common Galium aparine (Cleavers) has whorls of 6-8 leaves like Hedge Bedstraw, but its flowers are even smaller in size and they occur in small axillary cymes. Furthermore, both the leaves and stems of Cleavers have bristly hairs that can cling to adjacent vegetation, the fur of animals, or the clothing of humans.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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