Erect or ascending branching perennial herbs, with 4-angled stems, verticillate leaves, and small white pink or blue flowers in terminal or axillary, mostly cymose clusters. Calyx-tube somewhat didymous, the limb obsolete. Corolla funnelform. 4-lobed. Stamens 4, inserted on the tube or throat of the corolla; anthers linear or oblong. Ovary 2-celled; ovules 1 in each cavity; style 2-cleft. Fruit globose-didymous, the carpels indehiscent. Seed adherent to the pericarp; endosperm fleshy; embryo curved. [Latin diminutive of asper, rough, referring to the leaves.]

About 80 species, natives of the Old World. Type species: Asperula odorata L. Leaves oblong-lanceolate to obovate; fruit hispid.

1. A. odorata.

Leaves linear, 1" wide or less; fruit smooth.

2. A. galioides.

1. Asperula Odorata L. Sweet Woodruff

Fig. 3953

Asperula odorata L. Sp. Pl. 103. 1753.

Stems erect, slender, smooth. Leaves usually in 8's (6's-9's), thin, oblong-lanceolate, acute or obtuse, mucronate, 1-nerved, roughish on the margins, 6"-18" long, the lower smaller, often obo-vate or oblanceolate; peduncles terminal and axillary, slender; cymes several-flowered; flowers white or pinkish, 1 1/2" long; pedicels 1"-2" long; fruit very hispid, about 1" broad.

In waste places, New Brunswick, N. J. Fugitive from Europe. Other English names are hay-plant, mugwet or mugget, rockweed, sweet hairhoof, wood-rip, woodrowel, star-grass, and sweet-grass. May-July.

Asperula arvensis L., another European species, with terminal capitate flowers, and linear obtuse leaves, has been found in waste places on Staten Island.

1 Asperula Odorata L Sweet Woodruff 6241 Asperula Odorata L Sweet Woodruff 625

2. Asperula Galioides Bieb. Bedstraw Asperula

Fig. 3954

Asperula galioides Bieb. Fl. Taur. Cauc. 1: 101. 1808.

Glaucous, glabrous, stems erect or ascending, 2 1/2" high or less. Leaves linear, rigid, involute-margined, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, about 1" wide, whorled in 5's-10's (often in 8's), subulate-tipped or mucronate; cymes panicled; flowers white; fruit smooth.

In fields, Connecticut to Michigan. Adventive from Europe. May-July.