Marsh bedstraw Galium palustre agg., from here.

Belongs within: Paederieae.

Galium, bedstraw, is a cosmopolitan genus of small herbs. Many species in the genus have noticeably 'sticky' stems with small recurved hairs. These include the cleavers Galium aparine, which is native to temperate Eurasia but has become naturalised in many other parts of the world. The three-petal bedstraw G. trifidum is another species that is widespread across the Holarctic region; both the vernacular and botanical names refer to its distinctive three-lobed corollas, in contrast to the four lobes of other species.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual, perennial, sometimes more or less shrubby, often more or less dioecious, glabrous or hairy, often scabrous. Stem when young four-angled. Leaves in whorls of four or more, including leaf-like stipules. Inflorescence a panicle, or axillary clusters of one to many flowers. Flower bisexual or unisexual (with sterile stamens or pistils); calyx absent; corolla generally rotate, sometimes more or less bell-shaped, generally greenish, fading yellow or white, sometimes reddish, lobes generally 4; ovary 2-lobed, styles 2, more or less fused basally. Fruit two nutlets or one berry.

<==Galium Linnaeus 1753 A61
    |--G. sect. Aparinoides (Jordan) Gren. 1851 B06
    |    |--G. innocuum B06
    |    |--G. karakulense B06
    |    |--G. palustre B06
    |    |--G. shanense Bhattacharjee 2006 B06
    |    `--G. trifidum B06
    |         |--G. t. var. trifidum H93
    |         |--G. t. var. pacificum H93
    |         `--G. t. var. pusillum H93
    |--G. sect. Asperigalium Bhattacharjee 2006 B06
    |    |--G. (sect. *Asperigalium) asperifolium B06
    |    |--G. acutum B06
    |    |--G. campylotrichum B06
    |    |--G. confertum B06
    |    |--G. duthiei Bhattacharjee 2006 B06
    |    |    |--G. d. var. duthiei B06
    |    |    `--G. d. var. glabriusculum Bhattacharjee 2006 B06
    |    |--G. himachalense B06
    |    |--G. megacyttarion B06
    |    |--G. pilosissimum B06
    |    |--G. poluninii B06
    |    |--G. pseudoaserifolium B06
    |    |--G. subfalcatum B06
    |    |--G. tetraphyllum B06
    |    `--G. vicaryii B06
    |--G. sect. Hirtiflorum Bhattacharjee 2006 B06
    |    |--G. (sect *Hirtiflorum) hirtiflorum B06
    |    `--G. subtrinervum B06
    `--G. sect. Trachygalium B06
         |--G. ceratophylloides B06
         `--G. kaganense Bhattacharjee 2006 B06

Galium incertae sedis:
  G. album BM00
  G. ambiguum H93
    |--G. a. var. ambiguum H93
    `--G. a. var. siskiyouense H93
  G. andrewsii H93
    |--G. a. ssp. andrewsii H93
    |--G. a. ssp. gatense H93
    `--G. a. ssp. intermedium H93
  G. angustifolium H93
    |--G. a. ssp. angustifolium H93
    |--G. a. ssp. borregoense H93
    |--G. a. ssp. foliosum H93
    |--G. a. ssp. gabrielense H93
    |--G. a. ssp. gracillimum H93
    |--G. a. ssp. nudicaule H93
    `--G. a. ssp. onycense H93
  G. aparine [incl. G. spurium] H93
  G. argense H93
  G. australe BR65
  G. bifolium H93
  G. bolanderi [incl. G. pubens] H93
  G. boreale H93
    |--G. b. ssp. boreale H93
    `--G. b. ssp. septentrionale H93
  G. brevifolium PT98
  G. brevipes J87
  G. buxifolium H93
  G. californicum H93
    |--G. c. ssp. californicum H93
    |--G. c. ssp. flaccidum H93
    |--G. c. ssp. luciense H93
    |--G. c. ssp. maritimum H93
    |--G. c. ssp. miguelense H93
    |--G. c. ssp. primum H93
    `--G. c. ssp. sierrae H93
  G. capitatum Bory & Chaubard 1832 PL04
  G. catalinense H93
    |--G. c. ssp. catalinense H93
    `--G. c. ssp. acrispum H93
  G. clementis H93
  G. cliftonsmithii H93
  G. corrudoefolium C74
  G. cruciata TG88
  G. divaricatum BR65
  G. exile O88
  G. fuegianum D03
  G. gaudichaudii [incl. G. ciliare] BR65
    |--G. g. var. gaudichaudii BR65
    `--G. g. var. muriculatum BR65
  G. glabrescens H93
    |--G. g. ssp. glabrescens H93
    `--G. g. ssp. modocense H93
  G. grande H93
  G. grayanum H93
    |--G. g. var. grayanum H93
    `--G. g. var. nanum H93
  G. hallii H93
  G. hardhamiae H93
  G. hilendiae H93
    |--G. h. ssp. hilendiae H93
    |--G. h. ssp. carneum [=G. munzii var. carneum] H93
    `--G. h. ssp. kingstonense [=G. munzii var. kingstonense] H93
  G. hypotrichium H93
    |--G. h. ssp. hypotrichium [incl. G. hypotrichium ssp. ebbettsense] H93
    |--G. h. ssp. inyoense H93
    |--G. h. ssp. subalpinum H93
    `--G. h. ssp. tomentellum H93
  G. jepsonii H93
  G. johnstonii [incl. G. angustifolium var. pinetorum] H93
  G. latifolium EBS98
  G. magnifolium H93
  G. matthewsii H93
  G. mexicanum H93
    |--G. m. var. mexicanum H93
    `--G. m. var. asperulum H93
  G. mollugo Linnaeus 1753 PL04
  G. multiflorum [incl. G. multiflorum f. hirsutum, G. watsonii] H93
  G. munzii H93
  G. murale BR65
  G. muricatum H93
  G. nuttallii H93
    |--G. n. ssp. nuttallii H93
    `--G. n. ssp. insulare H93 [=G. brevifolium ssp. insulare PT98]
  G. oreganum H93
  G. parishii H93
  G. parisiense [incl. G. anglicum] C06
  G. perpusillum (Hooker) Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy) A61
  G. porrigens H93
    |--G. p. var. porrigens [incl. G. nuttallii var. ovalifolium] H93
    `--G. p. var. tenue [=G. nuttallii var. tenue] H93
  G. proliferum H93
  G. propinquum Cunn. 1839 (see below for synonymy) A61
  G. pumilum C55a
  G. pusillosetosum O88
  G. relbum D03
  G. saccharatum C55b
  G. saxatile PAE98
  G. schultesii H93
  G. serpenticum H93
    |--G. s. ssp. serpenticum H93
    |--G. s. ssp. scotticum H93
    `--G. s. ssp. warnerense H93
  G. serpylloides O88
  G. setaceum PT98
  G. sparsiflorum H93
    |--G. s. ssp. sparsiflorum H93
    `--G. s. ssp. glabrius H93
  G. stellatum H93
    |--G. s. var. stellatum H93
    `--G. s. var. eremicum H93
  G. tenerum [incl. G. aparine var. minor] BR65
  G. tenuicaule Cunn. 1839 [incl. G. triloba Colenso 1888] A61
  G. tricorne BR65
  G. tricornutum H93
  G. triflorum H93
  G. vaillantii C55b
  G. verum BBM02
  G. wrightii H93

Nomen nudum: Galium (sect. Hirtiflorum) falconeri B06

Galium perpusillum (Hooker) Allan 1961 [=Asperula perpusilla Hooker 1853; incl. A. aristifera Colenso 1889, A. fragrantissima Armstrong 1882] A61

Galium propinquum Cunn. 1839 [incl. G. propinquum var. elongata Hooker 1853, G. erythrocaulon Colenso 1884, G. propinquum var. glabrata Hooker 1853, G. propinquum var. hispidula Hooker 1853, G. umbrosum Sol. in Forster 1786 (n. n.)] A61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[B06] Bhattacharjee, R. 2006. New taxa of Galium L. (Rubiaceae) from the Indian subcontinent. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 48: 59–72.

[BR65] Black, J. M., & E. L. Robertson. 1965. Flora of South Australia. Part IV. Oleaceae–Compositae. W. L. Hawes, Government Printer: Adelaide.

[BBM02] Bonte, D., L. Baert & J.-P. Maelfait. 2002. Spider assemblage structure and stability in a heterogeneous coastal dune system (Belgium). Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 331–343.

[BM00] Bremer, B., & J.-F. Manen. 2000. Phylogeny and classification of the subfamily Rubioideae (Rubiaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution 225: 43–72.

[C55a] Candolle, A. de. 1855a. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C55b] Candolle, A. de. 1855b. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[C74] Coineau, Y. 1974. Éléments pour une monographie morphologique, écologique et biologique des Caeculidae (Acariens). Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, nouvelle série, Série A, Zoologie 81: 1–299, 24 pls.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[EBS98] Elliott, K. J., L. R. Boring & W. T. Swank. 1998. Changes in vegetation structure and diversity after grass-to-forest succession in a southern Appalachian watershed. American Midland Naturalist 140: 219–232.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds)The Himalayan Plants vol. 1.  The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[PAE98] Pakeman, R. J., J. P. Attwood & J. Engelen. 1998. Sources of plants colonizing experimentally disturbed patches in an acidic grassland, in eastern England. Journal of Ecology 86: 1032–1041.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209–223.

[TG88] Tepfer, D., A. Goldmann, N. Pamboukdjian, M. Maille, A. Lepingle, D. Chevalier, J. Dénarié & C. Rosenberg. 1988. A plasmid of Rhizobium meliloti 41 encodes catabolism of two compounds from root exudate of Calystegium sepium. Journal of Bacteriology 170 (3): 1153–1161.

Last updated: 12 January 2020.

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