Northern Bedstraw
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Northern Bedstraw
P Native Photo: Varun Sharma
Common name: Northern Bedstraw, Northern Goose Grass
Botanical name: Galium boreale    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Galium nervosum, Galium diffusum, Galium strictum

Northern Bedstraw is a perennial herb, most easily identified by the whorls of 4 long, narrow leaves and its smooth stem. Numerous flowers in branching clusters at the top of the stem and arising from the leaf axils in the upper plant. Individual flowers are 3-6 mm across with 4 white petals pointed at the tip and 4 creamy-tipped stamens. Leaves are whorled in groups of 4. Each leaf is 1.8-5 cm long and about 6 mm wide, toothless, gradually tapering to a blunt point at the tip. There are 3 distinct parallel veins, and fine hairs along the leaf edges. Stems are erect, smooth and square, 1-2 ft, branching in the upper plant. Northern Bedstraw is found in the Subarctic & Temperate Northern Hemisphere, in open forests and thickets, mountain slopes, grasslands, meadows, open fields, ditch sides, river valleys and beaches, swamps, farmland sides, wastelands, at altitudes of 200-4600 m. It is found in the Himalaya at altitudes of 2100-3600 m. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Varun Sharma Photographed in Muling, Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

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