Galium tinctorium (Stiff Marsh Bedstraw)
|Also known as:||Clayton's Bedstraw, Wild Madder, Southern Three-lobed Bedstraw|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; swamps, wet woods, wet ditches, along shores|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||10 to 18 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.
Many clusters of usually 3 flowers arising from leaf axils and at the end of branching stems. Flowers are minute, about 1/16 inch across, have 3 white petals with pointed or blunt tips and stalks about ¼ inch long. Rarely a flower has 4 petals. Stamens are white; there are as many stamens as petals.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are whorled in groups of 4, 5 or 6, mostly 5 or 6. Leaflets are irregularly spaced and sized, ½ to 1 inch long and up to about ¼ inch wide, with a blunt or rounded tip. Leaves and stems are rough to the touch. Stems usually sprawl, becoming tangled in each other and in surrounding vegetation.
There are only 2 species of bedstraw with mostly 3-petaled flowers, the other being Galium trifidum (Three-petaled Bedstraw), which has leaves consistently whorled in 4s. G. obtusum (Blunt-leaf Bedstraw) also has leaves whorled in 4 to 6, but has larger flowers with 4 petals.
Please visit our sponsors
Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?