Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Galium is the only genus described here. Leaves in the species listed are four in a whorl, well spaced on the stems. Some species have male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on different plants; others have perfect flowers. The corollas are very small, with four petals spreading or bell-shaped. There are no sepals. The fruit is roundish and consists of two carpels that separate when ripe; these are covered with spreading hairs as long as or longer than the body.
Galium hypotrichiumssp. hypotrichium.Limestone Bedstraw. A low perennial with many stems 1–5 in (2.5–12 cm) long. The plant is grayish and velvety with exceedingly fine hairs. Leaves are about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, ovate to roundish, with a pointed apex. Flowers are perfect and minute, the corolla petals spreading or slightly cupped. The fruit is 1/8 in (3 mm) broad, including the yellowish or brownish hairs. Flower: Pink.
Distribution. Uncommon; rocky places, apparently restricted to limestone; Desert Scrub to Alpine Zone, 6,000–12,500 ft (1,829–3,811 m).
Galium hypotrichiumGray ssp. inyoenseDemster & Ehrend. Inyo Bedstraw. A perennial with stems 4–10 in (10–24 cm) high from a somewhat woody base. Leaves,
about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, are broadly ovate to roundish, pointed at the apex, the surfaces harsh with short, stiff hairs. Flowers are clustered on short, slender branches on the upper part of the stems. They are about 3/16 in (5 mm) broad, with spreading or cupped petals. The fruit is 5/16 in (8 mm) across, including its shining, white hairs. It is more conspicuous than the flowers. Flower: Yellowish.
Distribution. Uncommon; on granitic or volcanic rocks; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 7,000–9,800 ft (2,134–2,988 m).
Galium matthewsiiGray. Matthews Bedstraw. A glabrous perennial with numerous slender, some with tangled stems, 6–16 in (15–40 cm) long, from a woody base. The leaves are small and sparse, so the plant may appear relatively leafless. Leaves are firm, somewhat shiny, lanceolate to elliptic, 1/8–3/8 in (3–10 mm) long, lacking a hairy surface. The inflorescence is more open than in the other species, the minute flowers in loose clusters on the fine, spreading branches. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. The corolla has rare to numerous long hairs on the outside. Fruit is 1/8 in (3 mm) broad, including its soft, pale hairs. Flower: Pale greenish yellow or pinkish.
Distribution. Dry, rocky places, commonly in narrow canyons; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,400–7,000 ft (1,341–2,134 m).
Galium multiflorumKellogg forma multiflorum.Shining Bedstraw. A glabrous perennial with numerous stems, 2–12 in (5–30 cm) high, from a woody base. Leaves are shining, varying from minute to 1/2 in (13 mm) long, ovate or broadly elliptic. Male and female flowers are on different plants, clustered on short branches. Corollas are somewhat bell-shaped. Fruit is up to 3/8 in (1 cm) broad, including its long, tawny or off-white hairs. Flower: Greenish to cream color.
Distribution. Uncommon; rocky north- or east-facing slopes; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–8,000 ft (1,524–2,439 m).
formahirsutumGray. Canyon Bedstraw. Differs from forma multiflorum in being stiff-hairy throughout. The fruit is about 3/16 in (5 mm) across, including its shorter, somewhat sparse hairs.
Distribution. Rocky places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,900–7,500 ft (1,799–2,287 m).
Galium stellatumKellogg. Shrubby Bedstraw. A truly shrubby species, deciduous, 8–40 in (2–10 dm) high, harsh throughout, with short, stiff hairs. Leaves are very small, lanceolate, and relatively crowded. Some vigorous twigs, though, have larger, less crowded leaves. Corollas are minute, with the male and female flowers on different plants. The fruit, too, is minute, about 1/16 in (3 mm) broad, including its spreading whitish hairs. Flower: Pale greenish yellow.
Distribution. Uncommon; hot, dry canyons; east side of Inyo Mountains; Desert Scrub, below 5,000 ft (1,524 m).