Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale)

Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale)

Bloom time: June

Additional photos:


  • The northern bedstraw plant stands 20-60 cm tall, and has smooth, square stems.

Leaves & Twigs: The leaves are arranged in groups of four, with each group encircling the stem. The leaves are narrow, typically 5 cm long, with three strong veins.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • The fragrant white flowers of the northern bedstraw are approximately 3 mm wide.
  • The pattern of four petals on this flower are shaped like tiny crosses.

Habitat: These plants can be found in forests, along roadsides and in moist prairie environments.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

Historically, this plant was boiled and used as a wash to remove freckles.