Galium pilosum
(Hairy Bedstraw)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Hairy Bedstraw
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 5 - 9
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: May - July
    Status: Native

Galium pilosum, or Hairy Bedstraw, is native to the southeastern half of the United States. It is a perennial, which grows in dry fields and prairies, woodland edges, open woods, railroads and roadsides. It blooms in early to mid summer with small red-maroon flowers.

This plant stands out from most lookalikes, because it has flowers with 4 petals, that are red-maroon in color, most other species are white or green. In addition, its has 4 rounded leaves in a whorl around its stems, and its leaves and stems are very hairy. Most other species have either leaves that come to a point (non-round), or there are more leaves that go around the stem. The two species that are most similar to it are Galium arkansanum, and Galium lanceolatum. Galium arkansanum only overlaps naturally with Galium pilosum, in a small part of its range. Where the two do overlap, they can be easily distinguished because Galium pilosum has short, rounded leaves, while Galium arkansanum has narrow leaves that come to a point. Meanwhile, Galium lanceolatum also has very similar flowers and it does overlap in range quite a bit, but this plant has leaves that come to a tapered point, while Galium pilosum has rounded leaves that are hairy. See the chart below for a comparison.

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