E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Galium triflorum Michx.
sweet-scented bedstraw (fragrant bedstraw)
Rubiaceae (Madder family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66164)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Galium triflorum
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems prostrate to ascending or climbing, several, branched, square, short-hairy on the angles, the hooked hairs pointed downwards, 20-80 cm long.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves in whorls of 6, sometimes 4 or 5 on the smaller branches, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, 1-veined, 1.5-4.5 cm long, unstalked, short-hairy on the margins and with hooked bristles on the veins beneath, the hairs pointed forward.
Inflorescence of usually 3, stalked flowers in loose, open axillary or terminal clusters; corollas saucer-shaped, whitish, 2-3 mm wide, 4-lobed; calyces obsolete.
Nutlets, 2, 2-2.5 mm long, with numerous, short, hooked white to brown bristles.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic streambanks, thickets and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and SW NT, E to NF and S to FL, CA and MX; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Galium triflorum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 878 2750
Slope Gradient (%) 0 15 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 106 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(4), BG(22), BWBS(219), CDF(161), CWH(1020), ESSF(832), ICH(1696), IDF(511), IMA(1), MH(11), MS(415), PP(26), SBPS(35), SBS(1289), SWB(5)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant, submontane to subalpine, circumpolar forb (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation. Common on water-receiving (alluvial, floodplain, seepĀ­age, and stream-edge) sites: also present in early-seral communities. Scattered in coniferous forests, plentiful in broad-leaved forests. Typically associated with Athyrium filix-femina, Polystichum munitum, Rubus parviflorus, and Tiarella trifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Galium brachiatum Pursh
Galium pennsylvanicum W. Bartram
Galium triflorum var. asprelliforme Fernald
Galium triflorum var. viridiflorum DC.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References