Smooth Bedstraw, Galium mollugo

Life Cycle



Reproducing by seed and by spreading underground rhizomes.


Slender, soft, smooth, much-branched, at first erect but soon matted or spreading over nearby vegetation.


Leaves in whorls of 6 to 8 per node, narrowly oblong or wider towards the end, 1-3cm long and bright green (Figure 2).

Flowers and Fruit

Flowers in loosely branching clusters at the ends of stems and on short branches throughout the plant; each flower with 4 tiny white petals, 2-4mm across, sitting on top of a small spherical ovary which develops into the fruit ("seed" - Figure 4). Flowers from June to August.


Smooth bedstraw occurs throughout Ontario in pastures, meadows, river flats, roadsides and occasionally in lawns and gardens. There are several other kinds of perennial white-flowered bedstraws in Ontario but they are rarely considered weedy.

Often Mistaken For

1) Cleavers

Figure #1.

A. Stems of plant. B. Base of stem rooting at nodes.

Figure #2.

Figure #3.

Figure #4.


Figure #5.


Figure #6.

Smooth bedstraw in field.