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Galium coloradoense
Galium coloradoense
Galium coloradoense. Synonym: Galium multiflorum var. coloradoense. (Colorado Bedstraw, Shrubby Bedstraw)
Rubiaceae (Madder Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring, summer.
Above and left: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 20, 2015.

Galium coloradoense is said to be common, but these are the first plants I have seen in the Four Corners area. Plants are woody at the base, spread from rhizomes, and grow to about 12 inches tall. The species is dioecious with light yellow, white, cream, or green-yellow flowers and fruit densely covered with fine, white hairs.

Alice Eastwood discovered this plant for science in Montezuma County and it was described and named for her by William Wight in 1900. The Flora of the Four Corners Region and BONAP give Galium coloradoense species status. In several floras this taxon is considered a variety of Galium multiflorum, a species with numerous synonyms and one that, as Cronquist observes, "shows a highly complex pattern of variation" and ranges from semi-desert to alpine environments.

Galium coloradoense

Galium coloradoense

Galium coloradoense. Synonym: Galium multiflorum var. coloradoense. (Colorado Bedstraw, Shrubby Bedstraw)
Rubiaceae (Madder Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring, summer.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 20, 2015.

Flowers are four petaled, imperfect, and just 2-4 mm wide. Fruits are very white hairy. Leaves are long and narrow, in whorls of 3 or usually 4, tips are often reflexed, and the mid-rib is prominent.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

 

Galium coloradoense

Range map for Galium coloradoense