Galium spurium L.

False Cleavers

Sp. Pl. 1: 106 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Procumbent or climbing annual; stems slender, mostly 10–100 cm long, with a scattered line of tubercle-based, retrorsely curved hairs, 0.1–0.4 mm long. Leaves and stipules subsessile, c. equal, mostly in whorls of 4–6, with some whorls of 5 or 6 or occasionally 7 or 8, oblanceolate or spathulate, (4–)8–30(–60) mm long, 1–5(–8) mm wide, acuminate or acute with terminal hair occasionally developed, upper surface glabrous or with sparse to scattered hairs along midrib, lower surface glabrous except for hairs along midrib; margins flat or recurved. Inflorescences 1–3(–5)-flowered, mostly not exceeding whorls; peduncles 4–15 mm long; pedicels 0.5–5 mm long. Corolla c. 1.2 mm diam., cream or greenish. Fruit depressed-globose, (1.2–)1.5–2.3 mm long; mericarps reniform to subglobose, touching one another but separating at maturity, blackish-brown or reddish-brown, with tuberculate-based, apically-hooked hairs. Flowers mostly spring.

*Gold, *GGr, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *VVP. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW. Native to Northern Africa, Europe and Asia. Naturalised in woodland and rocky sites scattered throughout the west.

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2016-03-09
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-01-24
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Gentianales
family Rubiaceae
genus Galium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Galium spurium in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Galium spurium in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present introduced
Murray Mallee present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Murray Fans present introduced
Goldfields present introduced
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales