Stems erect, smooth, rather stiff, sharply angled, simple or branched, 1 to 21/2 feet high, usually a few or several stems from a perennial root. Leaves in fours, lanceolate or linear, entire, conspicuously three-nerved, blunt or pointed at the apex, sometimes the margins ciliate, 1 to 21/2 inches long, one-twelfth to one-fourth of an inch wide. Flowers white, panicled in small, compact cymes, forming a terminal inflorescence often 3 to 6 inches long. Corolla four-lobed. Fruit hispid when young, sometimes becoming almost smooth when mature, about one-twelfth of an inch broad.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
A. Northern Bedstraw - Galium boreale
In rocky soil or along streams and lake shores, Quebec to Alaska, south to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico and California. Also found in Europe and northern Asia. Flowering from May to August.
There are about seventeen species of Bedstraw (Galium) found in New York, most of them with small, inconspicuous flowers, some of them introduced species. The Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum Linnaeus) with yellow flowers, is native of Europe, but frequent as a naturalized plant in many localities.