This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Galium verum L. Sp. Pl. 107. 1753.
Perennial from a somewhat woody base, erect or ascending, simple or branched, 6'-2i° high. Stems smooth or minutely roughened; leaves in 6's or 8's, narrowly linear, 4"-12" long, about i" wide, rough on the margins, at length deflexed; flowers yellow, the cymes in dense narrow panicles; lower branches of the panicles longer than the internodes at anthe-sis; fruit usually glabrous, less than 1" broad.
In waste places and fields, Maine and Ontario to Massachusetts, southern New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Adventive or naturalized from Europe. Native also of Asia. May-Sept. Cheese-rennet. Curdwort. Bed-flower. Fleawort. Maids'- hair. Yellow cleavers. Our Lady's-bedstraw.
Galium Wirtgeni F. Schultz, differs in having the lower branches of the panicle very short at anthesis, and is recorded as established in a meadow at Norfolk, Connecticut.
Galium parisiense L. Sp. Pl. 108. 1753.
Galium anglicum Huds. Fl. Angl. Ed. 2, 69. 1778.
Annual, erect or ascending, very slender, much branched; stem rough on the angles, 6'-12' high. Leaves in verticils of about 6 (4-7), linear or linear-lanceolate, cuspidate, minutely scabrous on the margins and midrib, 2"-5" long; cymes several-flowered, axillary and terminal on filiform peduncles; flowers minute, greenish-white; fruit glabrous, finely granular, less than 1/2" wide.
Along roadsides, Virginia and Tennessee. Adventive or naturalized from Europe. June-Aug.
Galium tricorne Stokes; With. Bot. Arr. Brit. Pl. Ed. 2, 1: 153. 1787.
Rather stout, decumbent or ascending, 6'-12' high, simple, or little branched. Stem rough with reflexed prickles; leaves in 6's or 8's, linear or narrowly oblan-ceolate, 1' long or less, l 1/2"- 2" wide, mucronate, rough on the margins and midrib; peduncles axillary, shorter than the leaves; pedicels thickened and curved downward in fruit; cymes axillary, usually 3 - (1-3-) flowered; fruit tuberculate or granular, not hispid, 4"- 5" broad.
In waste places, Ontario, and in ballast about the eastern seaports. May-Aug.
Galium Aparine L. Sp. Pl. 108. 1753.
Annual, weak, scrambling over bushes, 2°-5° long, the stems retrorsely hispid on the angles. Leaves in 6's or 8's, oblanceolate to linear, cuspidate at the apex, 1'-3' long, 2"-5" wide, the margins and midrib very rough; flowers in 1-3-flowered cymes in the upper axils; peduncles 5"- 12" long; fruiting pedicels straight; fruit 2"-3" broad, densely covered with short hooked bristles.
In various situations, New Brunswick to Ontario, South Dakota, Florida and Texas. Bermuda. Apparently in part naturalized from Europe. Widely distributed in temperate regions as a weed. May-Sept. Among some 70 other English names are catchweed, beggar-lice, burhead, claver-grass, cling-rascal, scratch-grass, wild hedge-burs, hairif or airif, stick-a-back, or stickle-back, gosling-grass, gosling-weed, turkey-grass, pigtail, grip or grip-grass, loveman, sweethearts, scratch-weed, poor robin.