Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome 40 cm - 0.8 m tall Leaves: in whorls of six to eight, 2.5 - 5 cm long, 5 - 8 mm wide, narrowly lance-shaped with a pointed tip, one-veined, roughly hairy along the margins, pale beneath, thin. Inflorescence: a small cluster of thin-stalked flowers, numerous, widely spreading from the upper axils and forming a large inflorescence (panicle). Flowers: white, 2 - 3 mm wide, more or less flat and circular in outline, with four short, pointed lobes. Stamens four, alternating with lobes, shorter than corolla. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, spherical, paired, separating when ripe, one-seeded. Stems: many, upright or nearly so, slender, four-angled.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. An occasional, if not rare escape that may be found along roads or in thickets.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Galium comes from the Greek word gala, meaning milk, referring to the plants that are used to curdle milk. Sylvaticum means "of the woods."
Perennial 4-8 dm, erect or nearly so, glabrous except for the antrorsely scabro-ciliate lf-margins; lvs in 6's or 8's, thin, narrowly lanceolate, 2.5-5 cm נ5-8 mm, broadest near or below the middle, acute, pale beneath; infls several, divaricately spreading from the upper axils, forming a large diffuse panicle; pedicels very slender; cor white, 2-3 mm wide, its lobes acuminate; fr smooth; 2n=22. Native of Europe, occasionally found along roadsides and in thickets in N. Engl. and N.Y. Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.