Galium aparine L.
  • Sp. Pl.
  • Cleavers

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Galium aparine L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 01 Dec 2021'

General Information

Herbs, annual, procumbent or clambering. Stems 30-90 cm high, 4-angled, 1-4 mm in diam., branched from base, retrorsely aculeate along angles, glabrescent to pilose at nodes. Leaves at middle stem region in whorls of 6-10, subsessile; blade drying papery, narrowly oblanceolate to narrowly oblong-oblanceolate, 10-60 × 3-10 mm, usually somewhat pilosulous or hispidulous adaxially, retrorsely aculeolate along midrib abaxially, base acute, margins flat to thinly revolute, retrorsely aculeolate, apex acute and shortly mucronate; vein 1. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, cymes 2- to several flowered; axes glabrous to aculeolate; bracts ± leaflike or none, 1-5 mm; peduncles 1-5 cm; pedicels 1-30 mm, finally elongating and sometimes curved directly under fruit. Ovary subglobose, 0.3-0.5 mm, with uncinate trichomes. Flowers hermaphroditic. Corolla yellowish green or white, rotate, 1.5-2 mm in diam.; lobes 4, triangular to ovate, acute. Mericarps subglobose to kidney-shaped, 2.5-5 mm, with a dense cover of uncinate trichomes 0.4-1.2 mm from swollen base. Fl. Mar-Jul, fr. Apr-Nov.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora Of CHina @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    "Annual 1–10 dm, the stems weak, retrorsely hooked-scabrous on the angles, ± scrambling, seldom much branched; lvs in whorls of (6)8, narrow, 1-nerved, cuspidate, 1–8 cm, retrorsely scabro-ciliate on the margins and often also on the midvein beneath, uncinate-hispid above; infls mostly 3–5-fld, on axillary peduncles or in 3’s on short branches; cor white, 4-parted, 1–2 mm wide; fr uncinate-hispid, or rarely smooth. Damp ground, usually in shade; circumpolar, and found over most of temperate N. Amer. Plants with relatively large frs (mostly 2.8–4 mm, exclusive of the bristles), and with lvs to 8 cm, said to be mainly tetraploid to octoploid (on x=11) are var. aparine. Plantswith smaller frs (mostly 2–3 mm), and the lvs not over 4 cm, said to have usually 2n=20, but sometimes to 2n=66, are var. echinospermum (Wallr.) Farw. (G. spurium; G. vaillantii)"

  • Provided by: [B].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Annual climbing herb, stem with reflexed hairs or prickles. Leaves 6-8 in a whorl, 5-40 x 4-6 mm, linear, narrowly obovate, oblong, oblanceolate-elliptic, usually narrower below the middle, mucronate or cuspidate, midrib and margin scabridulous, upper surface mostly hispid, sessile or shortly petioled. Inflorescence axillary, 3-flowered; peduncle stout, 1.5-2 cm long. Corolla white; lobes oblong, c. 1 mm long, pedicel straight, enlarged and up to 8 mm in fruit. Fruit 2-5 mm in diam., covered with dense hooked hairs or setae, mericarps sometimes separated and free.

  • Provided by: [E].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 


    30–150 cm, niederliegend oder kletternd, meist unverzweigt. Stängelkanten durch rückwärts gekrümmte Stachelchen sehr rau und klettend. Blätter zu 6–8 im Quirl, 1–5 cm lang und 2–8 mm breit, mit 0,6–1,2 mm langer Stachelspitze, am Rand und au

  • Provided by: [C].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 


    5–10. Hecken, Äcker, Schuttplätze, kollin-montan(-subalpin). CH.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Distribution Map

    • Native distribution
    • Introduced distribution
    Found in
    • Europe Northern Europe Ireland
    Introduced into
    • Southern America Brazil Rio Grande do Sul


    Nationally Preferred Names


    Other Local Names

    Uirlis chríonnaIrishIE
    Goose grassEnglishIE
    Lus garbhIrishIE
    Jack at the hedgeEnglishIE
    Sticky billyEnglishIE
    Rieua d'quaglRaeto-RomanceCH
    Devil’s garterEnglishIE
    Gaillet gratteronFrenchCH
    Caglio asprello, AttacavestiItalianCH


     Information From

    Flora Of CHina @
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • A Missouri Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • C All Rights Reserved
    Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020
    Brazil Flora G (2014): Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020. v393.147. Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro. Dataset/Checklist. doi:10.15468/1mtkaw
    • D Group Brazil Flora, REFLORA Program
    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • E Missouri Botanical Garden
    Irish Vernacular Names
    • F All Rights Reserved
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • H CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).