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Galium kamtschaticum Steller ex J.A. & J.H. Schultes

Photo: Galium kamtschaticum

Boreal Bedstraw

Habitat: Cool woods, thickets, streamsides. [Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland)].

Range: Cape Breton Island, Quebec, northern New England, and northern New York.

Aids to Identification: Boreal bedstraw has oval leaves arranged in whorls of four along 4-angled stems. The yellowish-green flowers are all on pedicels 4-12mm long. It is distinguished from other perennials in the bedstraw genus by its 3-nerved, oval leaves and the fact that all of the flowers are borne on a slender pedicel. Closely related bedstraws with wide leaves, such as Galium circaezans, have some flowers pedicellate and others sessile.

Photo: Galium kamtschaticum

Ecological characteristics: Known to occur in rich woods in Maine.

Phenology: Flowers June - August.

Family: Rubiaceae

Synonyms: None noted

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 8 town(s) in the following county(ies): Franklin, Oxford, Piscataquis, Somerset.

Photo: Galium kamtschaticum

Dates of documented observations are: 1962, 1974 (2), 1999 (4), 2000 (4), 2001, 2002

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Logging operations should leave an uncut buffer around the streams where these plants occur near. It is unclear how canopy removal affects the populations.