Yellow bedstraw

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. March 2011.

Scientific name: Galium verum L.

Common name(s): yellow bedstraw, yellow spring bedstraw, lady’s bedstraw, cheese rennet, yellow cleavers

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

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


– perennial

-leaves are

  • simple
  • whorled
  • entire

– may be confused with G. glaucum; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage

– Two subspecies in New England, ssp. verum (fragrant flowers) and ssp. wirtgenii (odorless flowers). Can hybridize with G. mollugo (also present in wild blueberry fields), although the hybrid is rare and only known from MA thus far; see also Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites



Natural History:

-native to Europe

– traditional uses such to curdle milk for cheesemaking and to color the resulting cheese.



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. 827.

Go botany. “Galium Verum L.” Galium Verum (Yellow Bedstraw): Go Botany, 2021,