Galium aparine (cleavers) is an annual, seminiferous plant. It is also a creeping plant that is coarse and sticky when touching it. It grows on soils that are rich in humus, fertile. It can also grow on hardpan and moist-clayey soils.
Common names: cleavers, clivers, bedstraw, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed, sticky bob, stickybud, stickyback, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willy, sticky willow, stickyjack, stickeljack, grip grass and velcro plant.
The stem is creeping or crawling. It can grow up to 120 cm long/high. It has a square section and it its branched with hairy thorns that are oriented downwards.
The cotyledons are thick, robust, oval-elongated. The color of the cotyledons is green to blue. The cotyledons have retracted tips.
The real leaves are lanceolate, wider at the tips and narrower towards the base and grouped in 4-8 leaf whirls that are located on every stem knot. The hairy thorns are oriented downwards (towards the base).
The flower is small and white. It is grouped into a 4-flower inflorescence, a multicolored cyme-typed. The flowers are located at the leaves’ axilla and have long peduncles, with 3 flowers, most of the time.
The germination period is from spring until autumn. The germination depth is superficial and it can barely reach 10 cm.
The blossoming period is from the beginning of summer until late autumn. The plant produces between 100 to 500 seeds.
How to fight this pest plant
The herbicides that are recommended when fighting the cleavers are: Sekator Progress, Mustang, Kelvin Top, Galera, Cerlit.