Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Rubiaceae >>> Galium stellatum

Shrubby Bedstraw
Starry Bedstraw

Galium stellatum

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed on Vulture Peak, w. Maricopa Co., Arizona. 15 March 2008. Higher resolution image of Galium stellatum at Wikimedia Common.

SHRUB: Small, intricately branched shrub with rather thin, brittle twigs. Rarely more than one meter tall.

LEAVES: Small leaves are arranged into whorls of four at each node. Similar to other bedstraws there are stiff trichomes on leaves and young stems but they are short and few of them are barbed.

RANGE: Fairly common in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico usually on rocky slopes within partially shaded deep canyons or north-facing cliffs.

FRUIT: Paired nutlets are beset with an abundance of stiff, glistening-white hairs. When fruit is present this makes the plants conspicuous.

FLOWERS: Greenish white, small and inconspicuous. Blooming in spring and occasionally at other periods during the year.

UNARMED. No thorns or spines, however, the leaf tips are fairly sharp.

Rubiaceae -- Madder or Coffee Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009