Scientific NameGalium mollugo
Other Common Names:
false baby's breath
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Galium mollugo ssp. erectum
Occur in whorls of 6 to 8. Leaves are without hairs but may occasionally have hairs along the margins. Leaves are approximately 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long by 2 to 4 mm wide. Leaves are without petioles (sessile).
A perennial with square stems and whorls of 6 to 8 leaves. The whorled leaves of this plant makes it easily distinguishable from most other weeds except catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine) and Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis), which are both very similar in appearance and growth habit. However, catchweed bedstraw has hairs on the upper leaf surfaces and also has stems with tiny prickles. Additionally, catchweed bedstraw does not have rhizomes or stolons like smooth bedstraw. Field madder generally has smaller leaves than the bedstraws and the leaves occur in whorls of 4 to 6. The leaves of field madder are also more lanceolate and have much more of a distinct point than those of the bedstraw species.
Flower Seed Head
Produced in clusters on a flower stalk that arises from the area between the stem and leaves (leaf axils). Flowers consist of 4 white petals.
A 2-parted capsule that separates at maturity.
Smooth bedstraw is primarily a weed of landscapes, nursery crops, turfgrass, and lawns that is found throughout the United States
upright and nonwoody,
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
Stem Cross Section
square or multi-edged