Wild Licorice, Galium circaezans
Rubiaceae or Madder Family


Low moundling plant with square stems.  Leaves short, broad, blunt, widest about the middle, untoothed, in whorls of 4 around the stem.  Flowers very tiny, green, in branching clusters, with 4 petals.  Fruits tiny green burs. 

Native woodland plant.  Common in the woods, especially on the eastern slope of Wildwood.

The genus Galium is distinctive with its whorled leaves, four-petaled flowers, and square stems.  Among members of this genus wild licorice has the widest leaves, always in whorls of 4. Lance-leaved wild licorice is similar, but stems are not hairy, the flowers are purplish and the leaves are broadest below the middle. Hairy bestraw is also similar, but has shorter, oval leaves. Neither of these has been reported from the Park.