fragrant bedstraw

(Galium triflorum)

Conservation Status
fragrant bedstraw
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Fragrant bedstraw is a 3 to 32 long, prostrate, perennial forb that rises on numerous stems from a creeping rhizome.

The stems lie flat on the ground (prostrate) or climb awkwardly on adjacent vegetation (scrambling). They are slender, weak, 4-angled, hollow, light green or reddish green, and usually unbranched but sometimes branched near the tip. They are usually rough with minute, stiff hairs. They usually also have hooked hairs at least near the base.

The leaves are stalkless and mostly in whorls of 6. On smaller branches thay may be in whorls of 4. The blades are narrowly elliptic to reverse lance-shaped, to 2 long, and up to ½ wide. They have a single prominent vein running from the base to the tip. There is an abrupt, short, sharp, firm point at the tip. The upper surface is hairless. The lower surface is hairless except for rough, hooked hairs along the midrib. The margins are untoothed and have a fringe of rough, forward-pointing hairs. When crushed the leaves emit a vanilla odor.

The inflorescence is 1 to 3 small, branched clusters of 1 to 3 stalked flowers at the end of the stem and rising from the middle and upper leaf axils. The flower stalks are often longer than the subtending leaves.

The flowers are 1 16 to wide. There are 4 greenish-white to white petals fused at the base into a short tube then separated into 4 short lobes with long-pointed tips. There are 4 short stamens and 2 short styles. At the base of the flower there 2 carpels. The carpels are joined together and are covered with hooked hairs.

The fruit is a green, ball-like, 1-seeded capsule, joined in pairs and separating at maturity. The capsules are covered with hooked hairs.




Prostrate, 3 to 32 long


Flower Color


Greenish-white to white


Similar Species


Dry to wet. Woods, forests, prairies, meadows, fields.




June to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Gentianales (gentians, dogbanes, madders, and allies)  


Rubiaceae (madder)  
  Subfamily Rubioideae  
  Tribe Rubieae  


Galium (bedstraws)  

Subordinate Taxa






Galium brachiatum

Galium pennsylvanicum

Galium triflorum var. asprelliforme

Galium triflorum var. viridiflorum


Common Names


fragrant bedstraw

sweet bedstraw

sweetscented bedstraw

sweet-scented bedstraw













The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



The female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, styles, and stigmas.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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    fragrant bedstraw      

Growing in wooded area with moss at the base of a tree.

    fragrant bedstraw   fragrant bedstraw  


    fragrant bedstraw   fragrant bedstraw  


    fragrant bedstraw      


    fragrant bedstraw      






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Location: Lake Shore

Growing in wooded area with moss at the base of a tree.

fragrant bedstraw  

Location: Cass County

fragrant bedstraw  

Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blackhoof River WMA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Boot Lake SNA

Brownsville Bluff SNA

Bur Oak WMA

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carley State Park

Carver Highlands WMA, South Unit

Cedar Mountain SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chimney Rock SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Dodge Nature Center

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Englund Ecotone SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park

Greenwater Lake SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Gustafson’s Camp SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hastings SNA

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

Jay Cooke State Park

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

Kasota Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

King’s and Queen’s Bluff SNA

La Salle Lake SNA

Laible Woods

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

McCarthy Beach State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, Lawrence Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Moose Lake State Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

Ordway Prairie

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Partch Woods SNA

Phelps Lake WMA

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Prairie Bush Clover SNA

Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Quarry Park SNA

Rice Lake State Park

Ritter Farm Park

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sakatah Lake State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Savage Fen SNA

Schoolcraft State Park

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Sibley State Park

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Springbrook Nature Center

Staffanson Prairie

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Tamarack Nature Center

Thompson County Park

Townsend Woods SNA

Tribute WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Whitney Island SNA

William O’Brien State Park

Wolsfeld Woods SNA

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodland Trails Park

Zumbro Falls Woods SNA





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