Catchweed Bedstraw – 6/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Catchweed Bedstraw

Scientific Name: Galium aparine

Comments: Native to North America and Eurasia, this weed is an annual broadleaf plant with a shallow, branching taproot. The stems of catchweed bedstraw are square in cross-section, weak, mostly unbranched, and grow to about 6 feet long, but are unable to stand on their own, so they often clamber over upright plant species.

Catchweed bedstraw, also known as Stickywilly, Cleaverwort, White Hedge, Goosegrass, Gripgrass, Scarthgrass, and Velcro Plant, remains low and sprawling, forming dense, tangled mats. Hairlike bristles cover the stems and leaves of the plant; these bristly hairs are responsible for its characteristic tangled growth habit and the “sticky” way it clings to clothing and animals.

Historically used as an herbal remedy for various ailments, its dried and roasted fruits have also been used to make a coffee substitute (in fact, the plant is in the same family as coffee, Coffea spp).

More Information: Washington State University