shining bedstraw

(Galium concinnum)

Conservation Status
shining bedstraw
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Shining bedstraw is a 5 to 24 long, erect or sprawling, perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from shallow roots.

The stems are spreading or ascending, slender, weak, 4-angled, hollow, and much branched. The angles often rough with sparse, short, stiff, downward-pointing hairs. They do not have hooked hairs.

The main leaves are small, stalkless, and in whorls of 6. On the branches the leaves are in whorls of 4. The blades are linear or linear elliptic, to ¾ long, and 3 32 to 5 32 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 margins are untoothed and rough with short, stiff, forward-pointing hairs. They do not have hooked hairs.

The inflorescences are clusters of several to many flowers at the ends of stems and branches and rising from upper leaf axils. The clusters are forked 2 or 3 times, the forks widely spreading.

The flowers are or less wide. They consist of 4 short, white petals with pointed tips, 4 sepals that are shorter than the petals, 4 short stamens, and 2 short, pale yellow styles. There are 2 carpels at the base of the flower. The carpels are green and are joined together. They are not covered with hooked hairs.

The fruit is a green, hairless, ball-like, 1-seeded capsule, joined in pairs.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

5 to 24 long

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to cream

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

False baby’s breath (Galium mollugo) stems are usually erect. Sometimes the stems are stunted or poorly developed due to environmental conditions, and may be mistaken for shining bedstraw. However, the former has whorls of 8 to 12 leaves at the main nodes.

Northern bedstraw (Galium boreale) sometimes has leaves as small as shining bedstraw. However, the leaves of the former are blunt-tipped and always in whorls of 4.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to moist. Woods. Partial shade.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to August

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 5, 7, 30.

 
  3/23/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  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 (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Gentianales (gentians, dogbanes, madders, and allies)  
 

Family

Rubiaceae (madder)  
  Subfamily Rubioideae  
  Tribe Rubieae  
 

Genus

Galium (bedstraw)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

pretty bedstraw

shining bedstraw

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

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

 

Carpel

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

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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