Mulligan (Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, retired)
Galium mollugo L., smooth bedstraw, gaillet mollugine
This bedstraw is a long-lived perennial herb spreading both by seeds and by its vigorous underground rhizomes. Its stems are erect or semi-erect, and are from 1 to 4 feet (3 to 12 dm.) high. Leaves are in whorls of 5 to 8, rarely up to 12. Flowers are 4-lobed, white to greenish-white. It is an invasive plant that can become the dominant plant in habitats that are not under cultivation. It occurs in the eastern and western portions of the northern United States and Canada. Livestock typically avoid grazing it. It was originally introduced here, from Europe, as an ornamental plant.