Galium album & Galium x pomeranicum Galium x pomeranicum Galium x pomeranicum

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Upright Bedstraw

Galium album

  • Name also: Upright Hedge Bedstraw, White Bedstraw
  • Family: Bedstraw Family – Rubiaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. With runners.
  • Height: 30–100 cm (12–40 in.). Stem ascending, branched, 4-edged, nodes swollen, glabrous.
  • Flower: Corolla wheel-shaped, white–yellowish white, 3–5 mm (0.12–0.2 in.) broad, fused, 4-lobed. Calyx lacking. Stamens 4. Pistil of 2 fused carpels, styles 2. Inflorescence a broad, quite lax cyme.
  • Leaves: Regular (actinomorphic), usually 6–8 whorled eaves; stalkless. Blade linearly lanceolate–long, broadest at tip, with short bristle, slightly leathery, almost glabrous, with entire margin, hairy and slightly revolute.
  • Fruit: 2-parted, glabrous, almost glossy, reddish brown schizocarp, carpels quite spherical, 1 mm (0.04 in.) broad.
  • Habitat: Hillside meadows, pastures, banks, roadsides, forest edges.
  • Flowering time: June–August(–September).
  • Harmfulness: Harmful invasive species. Also hybrid Galium album x pomeranicum is classified as a harmful invasive species.

Upright bedstraw is an alien species in Finland. It was named in the 18th century by Carl von Linné, who only knew this plant, which is now rampant on banks, from a single place. Upright bedstraw’s march has been at the double: it began to become common in Finland at the end of the 19th century and already by the start of the 20th century it had spread to northernmost Lapland. In mainly seems to have arrived with hay seed and spread further with uncleaned domestic cock’s-foot grass and clover and grain seed. Upright bedstraw probably still arrives in lawn seed but it is no longer obvious: its white flowers decorate roadsides and any other suitably open habitats during high summer as far north as central Finland, and less so towards the north. Its incredibly abundant inflorescence makes it one of the most impressive meadow plants, and it can hold its head up high in any flower garden.

Galium x pomeranicum

In southern Finland there are plants like upright bedstraw whose inflorescences range in colour from snow white to creamy or butter-yellow, even if the stand is small. These are different degrees of the hybrid G. x pomeranicum that is produced by upright bedstraw and lady’s bedstraw. The parents are genetically so close that they can cross-breed and produce healthy offspring. The species are originally from different areas and haven’t developed any preventative measures, so upright bedstraw, which is more common than lady’s bedstraw, is threatening to consume it.

Schultes’ Bedstraw

Galium intermedium (Galium schultesii)

In the most south-westerly Finnish broad-leaved forests it is also possible to find Schultes’ bedstraw, which is a recent arrival in Finland. The leaves of this species, which is extremely threatened in Finland, are broadest in the middle, the flower stalks are very thin, and the carpels are grayish.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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