Photographed on Vulture Peak, w. Maricopa
Co., Arizona. 15 March 2008. Higher resolution image of Galium
stellatum at Wikimedia Common.
SHRUB: Small, intricately branched shrub with rather thin, brittle
twigs. Rarely more than one meter tall.
LEAVES: Small leaves are arranged into whorls of four at each node. Similar to other
bedstraws, there are stiff trichomes on leaves and young stems but they are short and few of
them are barbed.
RANGE: Fairly common in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico usually on rocky
slopes within partially shaded deep canyons or north-facing cliffs.
FRUIT: Paired nutlets are beset with an abundance of stiff, glistening-white hairs.
When fruit is present this makes the plants conspicuous.
FLOWERS: Four greenish white petals, small and inconspicuous. Blooming in spring and
occasionally at other periods during the year.
UNARMED. No thorns or spines, however, the leaf tips are fairly sharp.
Rubiaceae -- Madder or Coffee Family