Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome 40 cm - 1 m tall Leaves: in whorls of eight to twelve, 1.5 - 4 cm long, 0.5 - 3 mm wide, more or less linear with a pointed tip, one-veined, shiny and usually hairy above, densely hairy beneath. The margins are more or less curled inward. Inflorescence: a dense, showy cluster (cymose panicle) of small flowers. Flowers: bright yellow, about 1 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. Stems: clustered, multiple-stemmed, slender, roundly four-angled, sometimes finely hairy.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: late June to mid-August
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from the Old World. A rare weed of disturbed sites, typically found along roads and railroads.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Galium comes from the Greek word gala, meaning milk, referring to the plants that are used to curdle milk. Verum means true, or standard.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
Perennial; stems clustered, 4-10 dm, roundly 4-angled, usually finely puberulent; lvs in whorls of 8-12, ±linear, 1-nerved, 1.5-4 cm נ0.5-3 mm, acute, shining and usually hairy above, densely puberulent beneath, the margins usually ±inrolled; fls bright yellow, forming a dense, showy cymose panicle; 2n=22, 44. Native of Eurasia, now a weed of roadsides and fields in our range, especially northward. June-Sept. (A strictly diploid phase with odorless, lemon-yellow fls and open ±interrupted infl, has been called G. wirtgenii F. W. Schultz (G. verum ssp. wirtgenii), in contrast to typical G. verum, diploid or tetraploid, with fragrant golden-yellow fls and denser infl. We have both.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = null, non-native
Wetland Indicator Status: N/A
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