other common names: cleavers, catchweed, goosegrass, burrhead, gripgrass, loveman, scratchweed, sweethearts, love-me plant, beggar’s lice, fleaweed, inchweed, pigtails, poor robin
Galium: from Greek for “milk,” referring to the use of some species to curdle milk for cheesemaking
Species: There are at least 25 species of Galium, some of which are found in many different parts of the world. Two bedstraws are fairly common on Midwest prairies: northern bedstraw, Galium boreale (shown), and cleavers, G. aparine.
Madder family: Rubiaceae
Photo: Galium boreale L.
Photograph by Thomas Rosburg, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition