Weed Control - Be On The Lookout For "Smooth Bedstraw"

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Description
  3. Control & Prevention
  4. Related Links


Smooth Bedstraw (Galium mollugo) is becoming more noticeable on farms.

Figure 1: Smooth Bedstraw (Galium mollugo)
Figure 1: Smooth Bedstraw (Galium mollugo)


This is a perennial weed that reproduces by seed and by roots. The stem is square, smooth, 20-70 cm long, and weak. It grows in clumps and leaves are in a whorl (8 leaves).

Figure 2: Smooth bedstraw growing in clumps and leaves in a whorl
Figure 2: Smooth bedstraw growing in a clump with leaves in a whorl.

Flowers are densely clustered at the ends of branches, 2-4 mm across, with 4 small white petals.

Figure 3: Smooth Bedstraw flowers
Figure 3: Smooth Bedstraw flowers

Control & Prevention

  • Seeds: Buy clean seed "Certified". Bedstraw has been spreading from farm to farm in the Bird's-foot trefoil seed. The seed is of similar size to trefoil and cannot be separated. If someone offers you common seed, at least get a purity test done on it. For approximately $30.00/sample you can find out if the trefoil seed is contaminated with weeds such as smooth bedstraw. Paying less for common pure trefoil or mixtures one year could end up costing you more in the long run. You may obtain a list of the laboratories that offer seed purity testing by calling our office.
  • Herbicides: In the hay field, when you identify the bedstraw you can spot spray these clumps with Roundup or Touchdown. If the weed infestation is too severe, you must spray the entire field prior to plowing, with either Roundup or Touchdown @ 1.5-2.0 L/acre. For more information consult the OMAFRA Publication 75, Guide to Weed Control, and the label on the products.

Related Links

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca