Galium boreale L.
Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Synonym(s): Galium boreale ssp. septentrionale, Galium boreale ssp. septentrionale, Galium boreale var. hyssopifolium, Galium boreale var. intermedium, Galium boreale var. linearifolium, Galium boreale var. scabrum, Galium boreale var. typicum, Galium hyssopifolium, Galium septentrionale, Galium strictum
USDA Symbol: GABO2
This Galium species, of which there are many similar, is 12-24 in. high and many-branched. The narrow leaves in whorls of four. The mounded plant is topped by masses of tiny white flowers.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NS , ON , PE , SK
Native Distribution: Transcontinental Canada, s. to VA, n. IN, MO, s.e. KS & CA
Native Habitat: Open woods; woodland edges; prairie swales
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, sometimes rocky, soils.
Conditions Comments: Suitable ground cover for "wild" garden.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Young plants are edible, but more often bedstraw has been used as medicine, often in hot poultices to stop bleeding and reduce swelling. The plant juice has been applied alone or in salves to heal sunburn, rashes, cuts, insect bites, eczema, ringworm and other skin problems. (Kershaw)
Use Other: The name bedstraw refers to the historcal use of European plants as a fragrant suffing for mattresses and pillows. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagated by rhizome cuttings in spring or by division of mature plants. Seed germination is good, especially in greenhouse sowings. Seeds sown in the field are often destroyed by insects.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Galium boreale in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Galium boreale in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Galium boreale
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff