Galium concinnum (Shining Bedstraw)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Rubiaceae (Madder)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; dry woods
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:6 to 24 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in many small clusters arising from leaf axils and at the end of branching stems. Flowers are white, about 1/16 inch across on short stalks, have 4 petals (rarely 3 or 5) pointed at the tip, and as many creamy colored stamens as there are petals.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are mostly whorled in groups of 6, though whorled in 4s on branching stems. Leaves are slender, 1/3 to ¾ inch long with blunt or sharply pointed tips; those in a whorl are uniform in size and spacing. Leaves are slightly rough around the edges. Stems are slender and mostly smooth, or slightly rough along the angles. Plants grow erect or more often sprawling.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a pair of tiny, smooth round pods, each containing a seed.


There are several species of bedstraw, all with small white 4-petaled flowers, some with leaves whorled in 4s, or whorled in 6s. Shining Bedstraw is distinguished from other Galium species by its airy clusters of many tiny flowers, leaves whorled mostly in 6s, and overall delicate appearance. Other 4-petaled bedstraws have flowers 1/8 inch or larger, and typically larger leaves. The woods at Wild River State Park are loaded with this stuff.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Chisago counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jason - Washington County
on: 2015-07-03 22:02:46

We found this along the upper banks of the St. Croix River in William O'Brien State Park on July 3, 2015. Along the river walk path. I have never seen this species before. Your Galium pages made it simple to figure it out to species. Thanks. JH

Posted by: Gretchen - Scott County and Washington County
on: 2020-06-19 20:52:48

Tons of this along the wooded portions of the paved trail in Cleary Lake Park. Also saw today ay William O'Brien State Park.

Posted by: Andy - Minneapolis
on: 2022-09-01 06:54:05

Popped up in the shade of a boulevard tree after a rain. Found it b/c I planted blue grama there and occasionally have to weed it. Surprised to find this volunteer native plant there.

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