Ontario Weeds: Smooth bedstraw
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Smooth bedstraw, Galium mollugo
Other Names: gaillet mollugine, gaillet
Family: Madder Family (Rubiaceae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seed and by spreading underground rhizomes.
Smooth bedstraw (A - mass of flowering stems; B - portion of a stem showing whorls of leaves and tiny 4-petalled flowers).
Smooth bedstraw. A. Stem of plant.
Stems & Roots: Stems slender,
soft, smooth, much-branched, at first erect but soon matted or spreading
over nearby vegetation; leaves in whorls of 6 to 8 per node, narrowly
oblong or wider towards the end, 1-3cm (2/5-1¼in.) long,
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers in loosely branching clusters at the ends of stems and on short branches throughout the plant; each flower with 4 tiny white petals, 2-4mm (1/12-1/6in.) across, sitting on top of a small spherical ovary which develops into the fruit ("seed"). Flowers from June to August.
Habitat: Smooth bedstraw occurs throughout Ontario in pastures, meadows, river flats, roadsides and occasionally in lawns and gardens. There are several other kinds of perennial white-flowered bedstraws in Ontario but they are rarely considered weedy.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by having usually 6 or 8 leaves per node on the smooth stems and branches.
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