Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bed-straw, the popular name of several species of the Rubiaceous genus Galium, fourteen of which are British. They are herbaceous plants with square stems, small opposite leaves, and inter-foliar stipules so much resembling the leaves that the latter are generally said to be in whorls of from four to ten. They have small flowers with a minute calyx, a four-lobed rotate corolla, either yellow or white, and a dry fruit of two one-seeded carpels. Legend associates G. verum, the yellow-flowered Our Lady's Bed-straw, with the flight into Egypt.