Plant A Day – Stickywilly

 

Stickywilly Galium aparine

Stickywilly
Galium aparine

Did you know that Stickywilly (known as Cleavers to most people), is in the same family as Buttonbush!?  This same family includes Coffee and Quinine and other Bedstraws.  Who decides this stuff!?  According to Wikipedia:

Rubiaceae are an easily recognizable family characterized by opposite leaves that are simple and entire, with interpetiolar stipules, tubular sympetalous corollas and an inferior ovary.

There’s a sentence that only a botanist could love.  I wonder how the plants feel about having an inferior ovary. 😦

Stickywilly’s are a type of Bedstraw and certainly the most common Gallium in my neck of the woods.  They are found in a lot of places, but mostly where there’s a little shade.  I generally don’t see them right out in the open, perhaps because they get crowded out by other plants.

The flowers are small and not very showy.  They have four petals.

The flowers are small and not very showy. They have four petals.

The leaves are in whorls of six or more.

The leaves are in whorls of six or more.

The stem has hairs which are sticky. They stick to anything around them, which holds the plant up ... otherwise it just lays on the ground

The stem has hairs which are sticky.
They stick to anything around them, which holds the plant up … otherwise it just lays on the ground

Seed pods

Seed pods

Whole plant

Whole plant

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