Galium aparine (Cleavers) - photos and description



Clump of many plants. 



Foliage with stiff, downward pointed hairs; feels like sandpaper to touch. 

Flowers green in colour, about 2 mm in diameter. 

Fruit are two rounded nutlets.

General: Annual, weak-stemmed plants with a straggly growth habit, and very catchy foliage (foliage feels like sandpaper). Leaves and stems with stiff downward pointing hairs. Stems square. Listed as a weed of growing concern in western Canada.

Flowers: Flowers grow in small axillary and terminal clusters. I've read the flower colour can be white or green, we observed only green flowers. We measured flowers at 2 mm diameter.

Leaves: Leaves in whorls of 6, occasionally only 5 or even 4. The leaves are narrowly elliptical to oblanceolate, we measured a leaf at 20 mm long by 5 mm wide. the leaves are apicate (the leaf tips end in a sharp, abrupt point).There are hooked hairs and the mid-vein on the bottom of leaves, and scattered hairs on the top of leaves.

Fruit: Two rounded nutlets, we measured two fruit growing together at 3 mm diameter.

Height: Stem length is listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm, we measured plants to 20 cm tall.

Habitat: Woods, thickets, shores, fields, and waste places.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Several authorities list this plant as introduced, a few list it as native. The Flora of Canada writes "probably both native and introduced".

How to identify this species of Galium: Annual, catchy, leaves 6-8 per whorl, leaves narrowly elliptical, fruits 3 mm diameter (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

When and where photographed: Took the above photos June 6th, 7th, and 8th under spruce trees in a city park in our home of Regina, SK.