Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Awned Bedstraw, False Baby's Breath
Galium aristatum

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Galium (GAL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: aristatum (a-ris-TAH-tum) (Info)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 24, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A fine perennial too infrequently grown in gardens. Tall slender stems branching near the top support clouds of tiny white flowers from early summer into September. Nearly self-supporting but best surrounded by other tall perennials. Fine foliage texture, light and airy, a weaver in the border, and a good contrast to big bold-leafed plants like Cephalaria gigantea or Silphium terebinthinaceum or Dahlias.

This is the plant that Bluestone Perennials used to sell under the name of Galium 'Victor Jones'.

Tough, easy, clump-forming. This can be easily divided in early spring, but it does not spread spontaneously. I've grown this for over a decade in several different gardens, and though I've noticed an occasional seedling, I see fewer than with most good garden perennials, and never to weedy proportions.

Fairly tolerant of part shade, but it blooms longest in full sun.

I grew this in a bed that never received water through last summer's droughts and it looked fine all season. Height and length of bloom season increase for several years after planting---as with many perennials, this really takes a couple of years to reach its stride. I find the mature height is closer to 4', and I wouldn't space plants closer than 4'. This is not a ground cover.

I noticed a fragrance from the flowers this year for the first time.

Said to be a pass along plant in the south and praised by garden designer/writer Pam Harper.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Waukegan, Illinois
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Staten Island, New York

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