Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Galium boreale
northern bedstraw

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

Habitat: Mesic habitats, from sea level to subalpine.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

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


Perennial herbs from creeping rhizomes, the numerous, erect stems 2-8 dm. tall, short-bearded just below the nodes, otherwise glabrous or slightly roughened.


Leaves in whorls of 4, sessile, glabrous or scabrous, lanceolate or nearly linear, 1.5-4.5 cm. long, 3-nerved, often bearing axillary, leafy, sterile branches.


Flowers numerous in terminal panicles; calyx obsolete; corolla rotate, white or creamy white, 3.5-7 mm. wide, the 4 lobes much longer than the tube; ovary 2-celled, inferior.


Fruit dry, about 2 mm. long, glabrous or pubescent with inconspicuous, straight hairs.

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

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Galium boreale checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Galium boreale information.

E-Flora BC: Galium boreale atlas page.

CalPhotos: Galium boreale photos.

USDA Plants: Galium boreale information.

34 photographs:
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