Annuals or perennials with whorled leaves and short-tubed, often 4-petalled flowers, in spring. There are around 12 native Galium sp, or bedstraws. Mainly enjoying an open position, but not G. odoratum, woodruff, which can carpet woodlands. G. aparine may not be recognisable from its latin name, but the common name of cleavers and picking them off clothing or pets, will be much more familiar.

All bedstraws have small flowers, mostly white, but they are attractive to pollinators, especially smaller bees and flies. Those that favour open, unshaded areas always have an outside chance of attracting a bedstraw hawk-moth or hummingbird hawk-moth to lay eggs on and feed the larvae. Woodruff is however more found in shade, its flowers providing a resource to wildlife in spots that often start to lack nectar and pollen as the tree leaf canopy expands.

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