I.D. needed for wildflower with whorled leaves

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I took these photos in a Northern Virginia forest today.

It was growing in part shade on a dry slope and also in a floodplain area. The plants on the slope were more upright in habit.

The leaves are sticky.

It somewhat resembles whorled milkwort, but I don't think that's it. If no one recognizes it, I can try to catch it in bloom.

Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1
Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Its a Galium. Photos show 8 whorled leaves, so it is likely G. aparine (Cleavers) or G. mollugo (Wild Madder). How sticky are the stems? Are they covered with little hooked hairs? If so it is probably Cleavers.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks, greenthumb. I didn't touch the stems or look at them closely, but the leaves were pretty sticky. I'll go back and try to catch it in bloom.

By the way, the Newcomb's Guide is great; I'm glad I bought it. I see now that it would have pointed me in the right direction if I had only remembered to follow the key for both regular and irregular flowers. I only looked at the options for plants with whorled leaves and irregular flowers. Next time!

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