* Flowers yellow.
G. cruciatum: stems prostrate or creeping, the flowering ones erect or ascending, 1/2-1 1/2 foot long, hairy; leaves in whorls of four, ovate, hairy on both sides; flowers small, yellow, in little leafy axillary cymes or clusters, the fertile ones few and often five-lobed; fruits small, smooth, almost succulent. - Crosswort. - Hedge-banks and bushy places. Fl. May, June.
G. verum: glabrous, or with only a slight asperity on the edges of the leaves; stems 1/2-1 foot high, much branched at the base, decumbent or ascending; leaves small, linear, in whorls of 6-8; flowers small, yellow, numerous, in an oblong terminal panicle; fruits small, smooth. - Ladies' Eedstraw. - Banks and pastures. Fl. July, August.
** Flowers white. † Fruits smooth or granulated. ‡ Leaves in whorls of four.
G. palustre: stems one foot or more long, glabrous, with few spreading branches, almost always rough on the angles; leaves mostly four in a whorl, linear or oblong, obtuse, usually rough on the edges; flowers small, white, not numerous, in spreading panicles; fruit rather small, slightly granulated. - Marshes and wet places. Fl. July.
G. uliginosum differs chiefly from this in having the leaves six or eight in a whorl, narrower, and terminated by a fine point.
‡‡ Leaves in whorls of six or eight.
G. saxatile: stems much branched, often tufted at the base, the flowering ones numerous, weak, six inches rarely a foot high, smooth or nearly so on the angles; leaves 6-8 in a whorl, occasionally on the barren shoots only 4-5, the lower ones small and obovate, the upper narrow, all with a little point at the tip, the edges smooth or rough; flowers, numerous, white, in short terminal panicles, their lobes scarcely pointed; fruits small, more or less granulated. - Open heaths and pastures. - Fl. June to August.
G. Mollugo: stems 1-3 feet long, smooth, shining, more or less branched; leaves usually eight in a whorl, obovate, oblong, or linear, more or less rough on the edges, always terminated by a little point; flowers white, numerous, in large terminal panicles, their lobes ending in a small point; fruit small, smooth or slightly granulated. - Hedges, thickets, and rich pastures. Fl. July, August. A more erect narrower-leaved form closely allied to this, is called G. erectum.
†† Fruits bristly.
G. Aparine: annual; stems several feet in length, scrambling over bushes, to which they cling by means of recurved prickles on their angles and on the edges and midribs of the leaves; leaves 6-8 in a whorl, linear or linear-lanceolate; peduncles opposite and axillary, rather longer than the leaves, bearing a loose cyme of 3-10 small, greenish-white flowers; fruits covered with hooked bristles, forming small adhesive burrs. - Cleavers, or Goosegrass. - Hedges and thickets. Fl. June, July.
Allied plants, with more slender, shorter, and less hispid stems, and smaller fruits, are sometimes called G. Vaillantii and G. spurium. Another related plant, a cornfield species, is G. tricorne, but it is altogether smaller, with shorter leaves, and 1-3-flowered peduncles, and has the fruit granulated only, and not bristly.