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Galium aparine L.
Stickywilly, Catchweed Bedstraw, Cleavers, Common Bedstraw, Sticky Weed
Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Synonym(s): Galium agreste var. echinospermum, Galium aparine ssp. spurium, Galium aparine var. echinospermum, Galium aparine var. intermedium, Galium aparine var. minor, Galium aparine var. vaillantii, Galium spurium, Galium spurium var. echinospermum, Galium spurium var. vaillantii, Galium spurium var. vaillantii, Galium vaillantii
USDA Symbol: GAAP2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (I?), GL (I?)
A weak-stemmed, reclining plant with backward-booked bristles on stems and leaves, and clusters of 1-3 (usually 2) very small white flowers on stalks rising from whorled leaf axils.
The common name is appropriate since the bristles cause the stems, leaves, and fruits to cleave to clothes and the fur of animals. The fact that geese eat the plants accounts for the other common name. The plants are also known as Bedstraws, since the pleasant smelling foliage of a yellow-flowered species (G. verum) was used to stuff mattresses in medieval times.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr
DistributionUSA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , PE
Native Distribution: Throughout North America, except Northwest Territories and Newfoundland.
Native Habitat: Reclining on bushes in woods and thickets.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0734 Collected Mar 8, 1993 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0825 Collected Mar 12, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0089 Collected Mar. 28, 1991 in Bexar County by Mollie Walton
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Galium aparine in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Galium aparine in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Galium aparine
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-02-14
Research By: TWC Staff