Galium angustifolium Nutt. ssp. angustifolium


Rubiaceae (Madder Family)




Narrow-Leaved Bedstraw


Chaparral Bedstraw   

                                               May Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Perennial plants 15-100 cm. high, the fertile, square branches arising singly or in tufts from the nodes of slender, woody scaffold stems; stems glabrous to hispid, the internodes commonly 2-7 cm. long, generally much longer than the lvs.; lvs. 5-27 mm. long, in whorls of 4, filiform to strapshaped, the margins usually with hairs, lvs. not congested toward base of plant; infl. usually diffuse, with abundant fls. and frs.; corolla not hairier than herbage; mature frs. with white spreading hairs 3 -3.5 mm. long; fruiting pedicels usually shorter than frs.; corolla cream to greenish-yellow.


Habitat:  Dry often shaded places below 8000 ft.; many Plant Communities; n. L. Calif. to Tehachapi Mts. and Santa Ynez Mts.; Santa Lucia Mts.; Santa Catalina Id.  Spring.


Name:  Greek, gala, milk, certain spp. being used to curdle milk.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 762).  Latin, angustus, narrow and Latin, folium, a leaf. (Jaeger 19,104).


General:  Uncommon in the study area.  First found in 1987 on a mostly shaded bank at the large bend in Back Bay Dr. just northerly of the old salt works dike.  In 1994 I found several large plants on the bench above the location of the first find.  Without mature fruits this plant is difficult to identify, as the hairs do not appear until maturity. (my comments).      Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay or Southern Diegueno Indian, made the following comments about Galium angustifolium in her autobiography:  "Used for diarrhea by boiling as a tea.  It was gathered when green and in bloom and could be dried and saved till needed."  (Shipek 90).       About 300 spp., widely distributed.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 762).


Text Ref:  Abrams, Vol. IV 38; Hickman, Ed. 981; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 764. 

Photo Ref:  May 2 87 # 10A,11A,12A; June-July 87 # 1,2.; April-May 94 #21A.

Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by F. Roberts.

First Found:  May 1987.


Computer Ref:  Plant Data 322.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 10/26/04.  


                                 May Photo                                                                            June Photo