Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Galium odoratum
sweet-scented bedstraw

Distribution: Occurring in a few scattered locations west of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to Oregon; scattered areas of central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Woodlands at low elevations.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Vanilla-scented, rhizomatous perennial, the stems 1.5-5 dm. tall, glabrous except for retrorse, sharp hairs at the nodes.


Leaves mostly in whorles of 8, occasionally 6 or 10, sessile, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, tipped with a sharp point, 1.5-5 cm. long and 4-12 mm. wide, with scabrous hairs on the margins.


Inflorescence a terminal, naked cyme; calyx obsolete; corolla white, 3-5 mm. long, the 4 lobes flaring, about equal in length to the tube; stamens alternating with the corolla lobes, attached to the corolla; ovary 2-celled, inferior.


Fruit dry, about 3 mm. long, covered with hooked bristles.

Accepted Name:
Galium odoratum (L.) Scop.
Publication: Fl. Carniol., ed. 2. 1: 105. 1771.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Asperula odorata L. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Galium odoratum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Galium odoratum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Galium odoratum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Galium odoratum photos.

USDA Plants: Galium odoratum information.

7 photographs:
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