rough bedstraw

(Galium asprellum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

 

No image available

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Wet. Woods, thickets, marshes, swamps, calcareous fens, and streamsides.

Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

Sprawling: up to 7 long

     
 
Identification

This is a sprawling, up to 7 long, perennial forb that rises 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, usually much branched, and green, sometimes tinged with red. They are rough with minute, stiff, prickly, downward curved (hooked) hairs on the angles and usually also between the angles. The nodes of the stem are often surrounded with a ring of short, straight, spreading hairs.

The leaves are spreading or slightly ascending and stalkless. They are in whorls of 6 on the main stem, whorls of 4 or 5 on the branches. The blades are narrowly elliptic to inversely lance-shaped, to ¾ long, and to ¼ wide. They are widest above the middle, sharply pointed at the tip, and angled or squared off at the base. They have a single prominent vein running from the base to the tip, and an abrupt, short, sharp, firm point at the tip. The upper surface is hairless. The lower surface is hairless except for short, stiff, prickly hairs along the midrib. There are no glands (appearing as lines or streaks) on the lower surface. The margins are untoothed and are often somewhat curled under. They are rough with a fringe of short, stiff, prickly hairs.

The inflorescence is a small, branched, few-flowered cluster at the end of the stem and rising from the upper leaf axils. The inflorescence branches are ascending, held above the leaves, and forked 1 to 3 times.

The flowers are wide. There are no sepals, 4 petals, 4 stamens, and 2 styles. The petals are white, joined at the base into a minute tube, then separated onto 4 lobes. The lobes are spreading, egg-shaped, and pointed at the tip. The stamens have yellow anthers and are shorter than the corolla. The styles are shorter than the corolla and are topped with a white, head-like stigma. The ovary has two chambers and 2 lobes.

The fruit is a green, hairless, 1 32 to 1 16long, 1 32 wide, 1-seeded capsule, joined in pairs and separating at maturity.

 
Similar
Species

Shining bedstraw (Galium concinnum) has no hooked hairs on the stem or leaves. The leaves are narrower, no more than wide.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Rubiaceae (madder)

 

Subfamily:

Rubioideae

 

Tribe:

Rubieae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

rough bedstraw

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

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

 

Bract

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

 

Carpel

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

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

Panicle

A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.

 

Rhizome

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

 

 

       
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