Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Rough Bedstraw - Galium asprellum   Michaux
Members of Rubiaceae:
Members of Galium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rubiales » Family Rubiaceae
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DistributionScattered in the Mountains, but mainly in the northern counties (south to Avery County); also sparse in the northern Piedmont, east to Durham County.

This is a Northern species, ranging from eastern Canada south only to northern and western NC and eastern TN.
AbundanceRare in the Mountains, and very rare in the northern Piedmont (if still present). This is a Watch List species, though perhaps it is rare enough to be listed as Significantly Rare by the NCNHP.
HabitatThis is mainly a wetland species, found in NC mostly in bogs, but it also is found in damp ground of wet thickets, wet meadows, stream banks, and fens. Weakley (2018) indicates that it prefers somewhat base-rich (high pH) soil.
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from July to September.
IdentificationThis is a much-branched herb with weak stems, typically leaning on other vegetation or forming mats near the ground; it reaches 3-5 feet long. As with G. aparine, this species has retrorse (backward-pointing) stiff hairs along the stem, rough to the touch. Unlike that species, it has just 5-6 leaves in a whorl at each node; the leaf is elliptical, about 2/3-inch long and barely 1/4-inch wide. The clusters of small white flowers are in leaf axils, though most are concentrated toward the outer part of the stem. This is the most "bushy" looking of our native species, with numerous branches. However, to see it in the state you will need to look in the northern mountains, in sunny wet or damp places.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2
Global RankG5
State StatusW7
US Status
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