purple bedstraw (Galium latifolium)
Galium latifolium Michx. var. hispidifolium Small ex Britton
Galium latifolium Michx. var. hispidum Small
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for purple bed-
straw is Galium latifolium Michx.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Habit: Purple bedstraw is a perennial herb with erect to reclining, four-
sided stems that can reach up to 2 feet (6 dm) long. The stem may be
simple or branched, smooth or hairy at the nodes.
Leaves: The leaves are 1 to 2 inches (3 to 6 cm) long, widest near the
base and tapering to an acute tip, have 3 prominent veins, and are ar-
ranged in whorls of 4 along the stem. Leaves are lanceolate or ovate-
lanceolate, with a round base.
Flowers: The very small flowers have four purple lobes with long point-
ed tips, and are arranged in open, branched clusters that grow from the
upper stem nodes. The corolla is maroon.
Fruit/Seeds: The ⅛ inch (34 mm), round fruits can have a smooth or
grainy surface, often from one carpel, mostly spherical distinguishing
them from related species of bedstraw that have bristly fruits.
Roots: Insufficient information.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Purple bedstraw propogates itself by
HABITAT TYPES: The species grows in dryish to moist woodlands,
primarily in the Appalachian Mountains.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: There has been insufficient research con-
ducted concerning purple bedstraw's site characteristic preferences. It has
been reported on dry to moist, rich soil conditions in woodland situations.
It has been found on shale and sandstone substrate and seems to prefer
partial shade, although this information is incomplete.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Purple bedstraw blooms from late
spring into mid to late summer (May through August, most abundate in
June and July).
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Purple bedstraw naturally occurs in the
Appalachian Mountains, from northern Georgia and Alabama to Penn-
sylvania, and westward into Kentucky and Tennessee. It is apparently
losing distribution, being threatened throughout much of its nature range.
It is most secure in the mid-Atlantic mountain region.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: There is inadequate information pertain-
ing to purple bedstraw's importance. This rare plant needs extensive study.
Crooked Run Valley