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This genus contains more than 600 species of herbs and some shrubs. Several species are important agricultural weeds and are often called bedstraw or cleavers. E.g. catchweed bedstraw, Galium aparine affects cereals and other crops in Europe and several other regions.
The leaves are elongated, and typically finely serrated and arranged in whorls. There are often 4, 8 or 12 leaves per whorl. The stem are usually square and the flowers are small and arranged in clusters. The plants often spread through germinating rhizomes and stolons.
Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: