Plant: perennial herb; glabrous or minutely scabrous on veins and margins; STEMS 20-45 cm long, commonly decumbent and radiating from a center, or sometimes supported by other plants Leaves: 6 per node, 6-38 mm long, usually in horizontal plane regardless of stem position, elliptic to ovate-obovate, narrowed gradually at base, abruptly toward apiculate or mucronate apices Flowers: perfect, (1-)2-3(-5) in pedicellate cymules, on axillary peduncles 2.5-4 cm long; corollas rotate, about as long as ovaries, cream-colored Fruit: FRUITS densely covered with soft white or brownish uncinate hairs as long as fruit body; mericarps brain-shaped Misc: Creeping on damp or shaded forest floors, or semi-erect near streams; 1400-3050 m (4600-10000 ft); May-Sep REFERENCES: Dempster, Lauramay T. 1995. Rubiaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Sci. 29(l): 29.
Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome 20 cm - 0.8 m tall Stem: weak, scrambling or prostrate, slender, four-angled, unbranched or remotely branched, sometimes bearing some rough, hooked hairs on the angles below. Leaves: mostly in whorls of six (four on smaller branches), 1.5 - 5 cm long, narrowly elliptic to reverse lance-shaped with a bristly tip, one-veined, usually rough-hairy along the margins and rough-hooked on the midrib beneath, thin, vanilla-scented. Inflorescence: a small, branched cluster of three flowers. Flowers: stalked, greenish white, 2 - 3 mm wide, more or less flat and circular in outline, with four short lobes. Stamens four, shorter than corolla. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, 1.5 - 2 mm wide, spherical, paired, separating when ripe, one-seeded, with hooked bristles.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to late August
Habitat and ecology: Common in moist woodlands, and frequently found on gentle slopes near bogs. Also found in parts of the bogs themselves. Occasional in calcareous springy areas.
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. Triflorum means three-flowered.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Frequent in moist woods throughout the state.
Dempster 1995, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial forb to vine, glabrous or minutely scabrous on margins and veins, 20-45 cm long, commonly decumbent and radiating from a center, sometimes supported by other plants. Leaves: Whorled, 6 blades per node, 6-38 mm long, usually in horizontal plane regardless of stem position, elliptic to ovate-obovate, narrowed gradually at base, abruptly toward apiculate or mucronate apices. Flowers: Perfect, 2-3 in pedicellate cymes, on axillary peduncles 2.5-4 cm long; rotate corollas, about as long as ovaries, cream-colored. Fruits: Nutlets densely covered with soft white or brownish uncinate hairs as long as fruit body; brain-shaped mericarps. Ecology: Found on damp or shaded forest floors, or semi-erect near streams from 4,500-10,000 ft (1372-3048 m); flowers May-September. Notes: The generally three-flowers help to distinguish this species; can be distinguished from G. aparine by its perennial but herbaceous growth form, and the narrowly to broadly ovate leaves. Ethnobotany: Taken for gallstones, as a love medicine, for backaches, for swollen testicles, rubbed on the skin for chest pains, used to clean up kidney troubles, as a perfume, and a hair wash. Etymology: Galium is from the Greek word gala, milk, an allusion to the fact some species are used to curdle milk, while triflorum means three-flowered. Synonyms: Galium brachiatum, G. pennsylvanicum, G. triflorum var. asprelliforme, G. triflorum var. viridiflorum Editor: SBuckley, 2010
Perennial; stems 2-8 dm, prostrate or scrambling, usually retrorsely hooked-scabrous on the angles at least below; lvs vanilla-scented, mostly in 6's, or only 4 on the smaller branches, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, cuspidate, 1.5-5 cm, 1-nerved, generally antrorsely scabro-ciliate on the margins and retrorsely hooked-scabrous on the midrib beneath, otherwise mostly glabrous; infls axillary or also terminal, the peduncles simple and 3-fld to repeatedly branched; fls greenish-white, 2-3 mm wide; fr 1.5-2 mm, uncinate-bristly; 2n=44, 66. Woods; circumboreal, s. in Amer. to Fla. and Mex. June- Aug. Southeastern plants, occasionally extending n. to our range, have reduced upper lvs and branching peduncles, forming a diffuse infl, and have been segregated as var. asprelliforme Fernald, but are not well set off from the more northern phase, common in our range (var. triflorum) with merely 3-fld axillary peduncles.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.