Piedmont Bedstraw, Foothill Bedstraw, Bedstraw
Synonyms of Cruciata pedemontana (2) (Updated on 8-4-22 from Plants of the World Online): Galium pedemontanum (Bellardi) All., Valantia pedemontana Bellardi
Cruciata pedemontana (Bellardi) Ehrend. is the accepted scientific name for this species. It was named and described as such by Friedrich Ehrendorfer in Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien in 1962. It was first named and described as Valantia pedemontana by Carlo Antonia Lodovico Bellardi in Osservazioni Botaniche in 1788.
The genus, Cruciata Mill., was named and described by Philip Miller in the 4th edition of The Gardeners Dictionary in 1754.
As of 8-4-22 when I wrote this page, Plants of the World Online lists 8 species in the genus Cruciata. It is a member of the plant family Rubiaceae with 605 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
The above distribution map for Cruciata pedemontana is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple are where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database is much different… POWO gets their maps from Flora of North America, but they don’t include the species YET. When they do, POWO will update their maps. I used this map mainly to show where the species is native.
The above distribution map for Cruciata pedemontana is from the USDA Plants Database. It shows a much broader range…
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A POSITIVE ID.
Hello everyone! I have been seeing small colonies of this species for several years here on the farm and thought I had identified it before. Well, apparently not since it wasn’t on my list. I uploaded photos on iNaturalist and found out they were Cruciata pedemontana, commonly known as Piedmont Bedstraw, Foothill Bedstraw, or just plainly Bedstraw. The later name is shared with a few other species.
The above photo was taken on May 1 (in 2022) when the plants were very small. The photos on the top of the page and below were taken of a good-sized colony in the back pasture on May 22. The plants were around 2′ tall and some seemed to be tangled up with each other.
Formerly named Galium pedemontanum, they are in the same family as Galium aparine (Cleavers or Bedstraw) but lack the “stickiness” of that species. While Cleavers are hard to miss or ignore because they grow in the garden, flower beds, along walls, etc. and they stick to everything, I have only noticed the Piedmont Bedstraw for a couple of years. That could be due to me not paying attention…
Cruciata pedemontana has the ability to spread fairly rapidly in pastures and hayfields since their flowers go to seed in only a few days. I read an article from ON PASTURE that says they make a good forage plant with around 19% protein… Hmmm…
I apologize for not writing descriptions when I wrote this page, but I was fairly busy. I will write descriptions as soon as I have time during the winter when I am not busy outside. That’s when I catch up and make updates. It can take a lot of thought to write descriptions and it tends to put me to sleep. There are several links at the bottom of the page that have great descriptions.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and in other areas nearby. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street, and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 200 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON/BURKE HERBARIUM
NATURESCENE’S FLORA OF THE CÉVENNES
NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂