Galium boreale L.
  • Sp. Pl. : 108 (1753)
  • Northern bedstraw

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2023): Galium boreale L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 06 Feb 2023'

General Information

Herbs, perennial, erect, 20-65 cm tall. Stems 4-angled, usuually glabrous, rarely shortly hairy, hispidulous at nodes, angles thickened. Leaves in whorls of 4, sessile or subsessile; blade drying papery or thinly leathery, linear-lanceolate or lanceolate to ovate, (10-)15-40(-80) × (1-)3-15 mm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent to hispidulous and/or pilose, abaxially never with striate to punctate glandular idioblasts, base cuneate to subrounded, margins usually revolute and antrorsely scaberulous to hispidulous, apex acute or usually narrowly tapered then obtuse to rounded at very tip; principal veins palmate, 3. Inflorescences terminal, elongate or broadly paniculiform, 2-15 cm, with several- to many-flowered cymes in axils of uppermost leaves and terminal; peduncles glabrous or puberulent at nodes, smooth or scaberulous; bracts ligulate, lanceolate, or elliptic, 1-4 mm; pedicels 0.5-2 mm elongating in fruit to 3.5 mm. Ovary subglobose, 0.8-1 mm, glabrous or sparsely to densely strigillose to pilosulous. Corolla white or pale yellow, rotate, 3-4 mm in diam., glabrescent, lobed for 3/4 or more; lobes 4, ovate-lanceolate, acute. Mericarps subglobose, 1-2 mm, pericarp firmly attached but sometimes ± inflated, glabrous or ± densely hairy with ± appressed, ascending, or spreading, straight or curved, but hardly truly uncinate trichomes 0.3-0.5 mm. Fl. May-Aug(-Sep), fr. (May-)Jun-Oct.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora of China @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Erect herb, 20-60 cm high. Stems 4-angled, glabrous, 15-40 (-50) x 2-8 (-12) mm, rarely younger branches shortly hairy. Leaves 4 in a whorl, broadly to narrowly lanceolate, obtuse, coriaceous, trinerved, margin and nerves shortly scabrid, otherwise glabrous. Inflorescence of oblong-pyramidal of terminal and axillary cymes, branches divaricate, usually short. Flowers many; pedicels (1-) 2-4 (-6) mm, filiform, glabrous; bracts ovate or elliptic, 2-4 (-6) mm long, Corolla 3-4 mm in diameter, lobes elliptic-lanceolate, subacute, 1.5-2 mm long. Fruit 1.5-2 mm in diameter with white, short appressed and hooked hairs.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Erect perennial 2–8 dm, the numerous stems commonly short- bearded just beneath the nodes, otherwise glabrous or scaberulous; lvs in 4’s, glabrous or scabrous, lance- linear, 1.5–4.5 cm, 3-nerved, the tip minutely rounded, not mucronate; sterile axillary branches with smaller lvs often developed; fls numerous in terminal, rather showy cymose panicles, with white or slightly creamy cor 3.5–7 mm wide; fr 2 mm, glabrous or with short, straight or curled (not hooked) hairs; 2n=44, 66. In a wide variety of not too dry habitats; circumboreal, s. in Amer. to Del., Ky., Mo. and Calif. June, July.

  • Provided by: [D].Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 


    10–50 cm hoch. Stängel aufrecht, meist verzweigt, kahl. Mittlere Blätter zu 4 im Quirl, lanzettlich, 1–4 cm lang und 2–8 mm breit, 3nervig, stumpf, Rand wenig umgerollt und von vorwärts gerichteten Stachelchen rau. Blütenstand verzweigt, vie

  • Provided by: [B].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 


    6–8. Magerwiesen, Riedwiesen, lichte Wälder, kollin-subalpin. J, A, zerstreut M.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Distribution Map

    • Native distribution
    Found in
    • Europe Northern Europe Ireland


    Nationally Preferred Names

    Northern bedstrawEnglishIE

    Other Local Names

    Gaillet boréalFrenchCH
    Nordisches LabkrautGermanCH
    Rieua nordicaRaeto-RomanceCH
    Caglio borealeItalianCH


     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
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • B All Rights Reserved
    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    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.
    • D Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Irish Vernacular Names
    • E All Rights Reserved
    World Flora Online Data. 2022.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online Consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).