Bedstraw


Bedstraw/Catchweed

(Galium boreale)

Bedstraw, also called catchweed, is a winter annual. The leaves of bedstraw are formed in whorls containing 6 - 8 leaves around square stems. The leaves are narrow to lanceolate in shape with bristles along the edges. Spines at the base of leaves allow bedstraw to cling to objects. The stems of bedstraw are weak and form mats of plants.

Bedstraw is more of a problem in high-mowed or infrequently mowed areas, such as those found in roughs or along fence rows. It is most competitive in shady environments. It prefers moist soils, high in nutrients and organic matter. Once this annual has died, it turns brown and decomposes very quickly. Regular mowing at lower heights will usually control bedstraw. If bedstraw is growing in a shaded area, thinning out trees is recommended if possible. Bedstraw is fairly easy to remove by hand where only a few weeds are growing.

Source:  USDA Forest Service