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Galium aparine

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed on the upper slopes of Vulture Peak, Maricopa Co., Arizona. March 2008.

LEAVES: Leaves are arranged into whorls around the stem, up to eight at each node.

ANNUAL: In the Sonoran Desert this plant is likely to be found growing as a smallish annual of springtime. In favorable years and habitats plants may sprawl to a half-meter across as the stems lean onto adjacent plants or the ground.

FRUIT: Dry, paired, round seeds beset with numerous short hooked bristles.

UNARMED. The minute hooks are not long enough to penetrate the skin.

RANGE: Infrequent in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico except in shady spots on mountains in the spring. This plant ranges across North America and Eurasia.

FLOWERS: White, four-lobed flowers are very small.

Rubiaceae -- Coffey Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009