Galium pilosum Aiton
Family: Rubiaceae
Hairy Bedstraw
Galium pilosum image
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913.  
Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome 20 cm - 1 m tall Stem: upright or ascending, slender, four-angled, unbranched to often many-branched from base, more or less hairy. Leaves: in whorls of four, numerous, 1 - 2.5 cm long, half as wide, elliptic to oval, three-veined, more or less hairy, and firm. Inflorescence: a two- to three-forked, widely spreading cluster of flowers. Flowers: terminating the branches of the inflorescence, distinctly stalked, greenish purple, 2 - 3 mm wide, more or less flat and circular in outline, with four short lobes. Stamens four, alternating with lobes, shorter than corolla. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, spherical, paired, separating when ripe, one-seeded, bristly.

Similar species: No information at this time.

Flowering: mid-June to mid-September

Habitat and ecology: Common in sandy Black Oak savannas. Also found in partial shade on dune slopes near Lake Michigan.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Galium comes from the Greek word gala, meaning milk, referring to the plants that are used to curdle milk. Pilosum means "covered with long, soft hair."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Erect or ascending perennial, 2-10 dm, often with many basal branches, otherwise simple to the infl; lvs numerous, in 4's, elliptic to oval, 1-2.5 cm, half as wide, firm, usually 3- nerved; infls terminal and from the upper axils, each divaricately 2-3-forked, the fls terminating the branchlets; fr uncinate-bristly; 2n=22. Dry woods; N.H. to Mich. and Kans., s. to Fla. and Tex. June- Aug. Most of our plants are the northern phase, var. pilosum, with the stem and lvs ┬▒pubescent with straight hairs. The southern phase, var. puncticulosum (Michx.) Torr. & A. Gray, with the stem and lvs ┬▒pubescent with short, upwardly incurved hairs, extends n. to Mo. and on the coastal plain to s. N.J.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Infrequent throughout the lake area in dry, sandy soil, usually associated with black and white oak; rarer in the southwestern part of the state, where it is generally found in rather sandy soil on the crests and slopes of black oak ridges; apparently absent from the Tipton Till Plain.