Galium aparine

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRubiaceaeGaliumGalium aparine


A scrambling annual of cultivated land, hedges, river banks, waysides, soil heaps and waste places, also growing in more natural habitats such as scree slopes and shingle. It inhabits both tall-herb and ruderal communities, thriving on highly fertile soil. Seed is dispersed by mammals. 0-440 m (Clun Forest, Salop).



World Distribution

European Temperate element, but widely naturalised so distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 8

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1080

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2672

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 960

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.09

Weighted Changed Factor: -16

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (262d)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Malik N, Vanden Born WH
1988.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 86. Galium aparine L. and Galium spurium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 68:481-499.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
Taylor (1999a)