northern bedstraw

(Galium boreale)

Conservation Status
northern bedstraw
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Northern bedstraw is a 6 to 40 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on numerous stems from a creeping rhizome.

The stems are ascending, erect, or reclining on the ground. They are slender, 4-angled, hollow, and many branched. They are usually hairless except for a short beard of hairs just below the nodes. Sometimes they are rough with minute, stiff hairs. They do not have hooked hairs.

The leaves are stalkless and in whorls of 4. They are linear lance-shaped, to 1¾long, and up to 3 16 wide. There are often two leaves opposite each other within a whorl that are significantly longer than the other two. The leaf blades have 3 veins, 1 prominent midvein and 2 less prominent but plainly visible lateral veins, running from the base to the tip. They are rounded at the tip. The upper surface is green and hairless. The lower surface is light green and sparsely hairy. The margins are untoothed and have a fringe of hairs. The leaves do not have hooked hairs.

The inflorescence is a showy, branched, about 4 long and wide, round-topped cluster (cyme) of numerous stalked flowers at the end of the stem. Each division of the cyme is subtended by a pair of elliptic bracts.

The flowers are to ¼ wide. There are 4 white to cream-colored petals fused at the base into a short tube then separated into 4 short lobes with pointed tips. There are 4 stamens with white filaments and yellowish-brown anthers, and 2 styles. There are 2 carpels at the base of the flower. The carpels are light green, hairy, and joined together. They do not have hooked hairs.

The fruit is a green, sometimes hairy, ball-like, 1-seeded capsule, joined in pairs. It does not have hooked hairs.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

6 to 40

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to cream

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Northern bedstraw often has two leaves opposite each other within a whorl that are significantly longer than the other two. Other bedstraws have leaves within a whorl that are identical in size.

Licorice bedstraw (Galium circaezans var. hypomalacum) has much wider leaves and 3 prominent parallel veins.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to wet. Woods, forests, prairies, meadows, fields.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  7/12/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Gentianales (gentians, dogbanes, madders, and allies)  
 

Family

Rubiaceae (madder)  
  Subfamily Rubioideae  
  Tribe Rubieae  
 

Genus

Galium (bedstraw)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Galium boreale var. hyssopifolium

Galium boreale var. intermedium

Galium boreale var. linearifolium

Galium boreale var. scabrum

Galium boreale ssp. septentrionale

Galium boreale var. typicum

Galium hyssopifolium

Galium septentrionale

Galium strictum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

northern bedstraw

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Carpel

The female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, styles, and stigmas.

 

Cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       
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Habitat

  northern bedstraw   northern bedstraw
       

Plant

  northern bedstraw    
       

Inflorescence

  northern bedstraw   northern bedstraw
       

Flowers

  northern bedstraw   northern bedstraw
       
  northern bedstraw    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Northern Bedstraw
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Northern Bedstraw  
 
About

Galium boreale

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Northern Bedstraw large group
raisingmyhand
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 24, 2013

No description available.

   
       

 

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