Galium aparine
common bedstraw, common cleavers, goose-grass, sticky-willy

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Variety of habitats, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Ants, bees, flies, butterflies, beetles, wasps


Scrambling annual, the weak stem 1-10 dm. tall, little branched, square with retrorse hooks on the angles.


Leaves mostly in whorls of 8, tipped with a sharp point, narrow, 1-nerved, 1-4 cm. long, with stiff, recurved hairs on the margins and mid-rib beneath.


Inflorescences of 3-5 flowers on peduncles in the leaf axils which surpass the whorl of leaves, usually with a whorl of small leaves at the summit, or the peduncles in threes at the ends of short, axillary branches; pedicels straight and ascending; calyx obsolete; corolla rotate, 1-2 mm. wide, greenish-white, the 4 lobes much longer than the tube; styles 2, short; ovary 2-celled, inferior.


Fruit dry, 2-4 mm. long, covered with hooked bristles.

Accepted Name:
Galium aparine L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 108. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Galium agreste Wallr. var. echinospermum Wallr.
Galium aparine var. aparine [HC]
Galium aparine L. var. echinospermum (Wallr.) Farw. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Galium aparine in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Galium aparine checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Galium aparine information.

E-Flora BC: Galium aparine atlas page.

CalPhotos: Galium aparine photos.

USDA Plants: Galium aparine information.

53 photographs:
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