Rubiaceae . . . . . Bedstraw family

Choose closest flower colour:



Flowers pink(ish):


Flowers yellow (or greenish)


Flowers white:


Further distinguishing features described by individual spp.


Asperula . . . . . Squinancywort


Asperula cynanchica . . . . . Squinancywort

On limestone and calcareous grassland in S Br; leaves opposite

Cruciata . . . . . Crosswort


Cruciata laevipes . . . . . Crosswort

N Br

Galium . . . . . Bedstraws


Galium album . . . . . . Hedge bedstraw

Well-drained soils in most of BI, but rare in Sc, Wa and Ire; corolla lobes pointed; 5-8 broad lvs per whorl;


Galium aparine . . . . . Cleavers

Common; very sticky as a result of hooked prickles


Galium boreale . . . . . Northern bedstraw

Four narrow stiff leaves at each whorl; mostly in Northern Britain


Galium odoratum . . . . . Woodruff

Base-rich woods and hedgerows; flower with long tube; broad leaves in dense whorls of c.8 lvs


Galium palustre . . . . . Marsh bedstraw

Thin marsh plant; lvs without sharp point; common


Galium uliginosum . . . . . Fen bedstraw

Scattered in base-rich fens exc. NW Sc and much of Ire; thin marsh plant; lvs with point at tip


Galium saxatile . . . . . Heath bedstraw

Common heath plant; stems smooth, lf margins with forward prickles


Galium sterneri . . . . . Limestone bedstraw

On limestone/mountains in NW Br; lf margins with some v. small backward prickles


Galium verum . . . . . Lady's bedstraw

Widespread on dry grassy places esp. on calcareous soils or near the sea

Rubia . . . . . Madder


Rubia peregrina . . . . . Madder

A coarse, leathery plant; locally common in S & W Br, CI and S Ire

Sherardia . . . . . Field madder


Sherardia arvensis . . . . . Field madder

On arable fields, grassland and lawns; leaves in whorls