Common name:  Cleavers

Latin:   Galium aparine      Family:

  1. Flowering period: May – Sep
  2. Height: 30-100cm      Flowers:2mm
  3. Habitat: Disturbed ground scrambling through bushes and field margins
  4. Status: Very common
  5. Biomap: Click here for Biomap


Location :   Wicklow, Delgany Farrankelly – area 4.  31st of May

Note: Photo can103-3190

Wildlife relationships:

Cleavers are annuals with creeping straggling stems which branch and grow along the ground and over other plants. They attach themselves with the small hooked hairs which grow out of the stems and leaves. The stems can reach up to three feet or longer, and are angular or square shaped. The leaves are simple, narrowly oblanceolate to linear, and borne in whorls of six to eight.

Cleavers have tiny, star-shaped, white to greenish flowers, which emerge from early spring to summer. The flowers are clustered in groups of two or three, and are borne out of the leaf axils. The corolla bears 4 petals. The globular fruits are burrs which grow one to three seeds clustered together; they are covered with hooked hairs which cling to animal fur, aiding in seed dispersal.


The species is native to a wide region of Europe, North Africa and Asia from Britain and the Canary Islands to Japan. It is now naturalized throughout most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, some oceanic islands and scattered locations in Africa. Whether it is native to North America is a question of some debate, but it is considered to be native there in most literature. It is considered a noxious weed in many places

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