Scientific Name: Galium mollugo

Common Name: smooth bedstraw

Other Common Names: false baby's breath

Synonyms: Galium erectum, Galium mollugo ssp. erectum

Leaves: 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).

Identifying Characteristics: 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 (<a href='../../weedimg/58'>Galium aparine</a>) and Field Madder (<a href='../../weedimg/772'>Sherardia arvensis</a>), 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.

Seed Fruit: A 2-parted capsule that separates at maturity.

Where Found: Smooth bedstraw is primarily a weed of landscapes, nursery crops, turfgrass, and lawns that is found throughout the United States

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Rubiaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: whorled

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: white

  • Growth habit: vine; upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: square or multi-edged

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Root structure: rhizomes present; stolons present; fibrous

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Leaf stalk: none