Galium californicum

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California bedstraw
Galium californicum sierrae.jpg
ssp. sierrae

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Galium
Species: G. californicum
Binomial name
Galium californicum
Hook. & Arn.

Galium californicum is a species of flowering plant in the coffee family known by the common name California bedstraw.

The plant is endemic to California. It grows mainly in moist, shady habitats in hills and mountainous areas, often within the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion.[1]


Galium californicum is a variable plant in the form of a small perennial herb to a sprawling woody-based shrub approaching 1 metre (3.3 ft) in height. Its stems and small oval-shaped leaves are hairy.

The plant is dioecious with male plants producing small clusters of staminate flowers and female plants producing solitary flowers. Both types of flower are generally dull yellow. The fruit is a berry covered in soft hairs.


Seven subspecies of Galium californicum, all endemic to California, are currently recognized:[2][3][4]


One of the subspecies of the plant, the El Dorado bedstraw (Galium californicum subsp. sierrae) is CNPS−California Native Plant Society and State of California listed Rare plant species, and a federally listed Endangered species of the United States. It grows in the gabbro soils of the Pine Hill Ecological Reserve and surrounding area in the interior chaparral and woodlands of the Sierra Nevada foothills in El Dorado County, eastern California. It differs from Galium californicum ssp. californicum by its narrower leaves.[13]

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