Northern bedstraw

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. April 2019.

Scientific name: Galium boreale L.

Common name(s): northern bedstraw

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-native to North America

-leaves are:

  • simple
  • opposite
  • whorled
  • entire

-pollinated by flies and bees

-may be confused with G. kamptschaticum or G. pilosum; see Go Botany left sidebar for more information



-meadows and fields


Natural History:

-named for its use of stuffing mattresses

-its juice can be used for skin irritations

  • bug bites
  • sunburns



Go Botany. “Galium Boreale L.” Galium Boreale (Northern Bedstraw): Go Botany, 2021,