Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.
Scientific name: Galium mollugo L.
Common name(s): smooth bedstraw, hedge bedstraw, whorled bedstraw, false baby’s breath, wild madder
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-named after its set of 6-8 whorled leaves
-reproduces vegetatively and by seed
-height ranged from 25-120 centimeters tall
-has a strong tap root and woody rhizomes
– may be confused with G. album or G. sylvaticum; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage
– can hybridize with G. verum (also present in wild blueberry fields), although the hybrid is rare and only known from MA thus far; see also Go Botany webpage
-meadows and fields
-moist and cool temperate habitats
-livestock avoid this species
– In field experiments by Kleijnand Snoeijing (1997) in the Netherlands,
- fluroxypyr applied yearly for 3 yr at 0.1 kg a.i. ha–1
- when plants were about 20cm tall
- decreased the percentage of plots in which G. mollu-go was present from 90% in the second year to 10% in the third year
-UK study reported reductions in biomass, coverage and flower production with use of mecoprop drift
- found to be effective when applied at a rate of2.0 kg a.i. ha–1 to actively growing plants in a French mead-ow (Psarski et al. 1971)
- Two years following application,the frequency of G. mollugo was reduced to 0% when it was previously 22%
-does not tolerate tillage
-clipping can decrease seed production
-native to Eurasia
-introduced to North America as an ornamental
Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 826.
Go Botany. “Galium Mollugo L.” Galium Mollugo (Whorled Bedstraw): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/galium/mollugo/.
Mersereau , D, and A DiTommaso. The Biology of Canadian Weeds. 121.Galium MollugoL. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Dec. 2002, weedecology.css.cornell.edu/pubs/Galium%20mollugo%20CJPl.Sci.pdf.