Weed Seed: Galium mollugo (False baby's breath)
False baby's breath
Secondary Noxious, Class 3 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.
Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE and QC (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1, Mersereau and DiTomasso 2003Footnote 2).
Worldwide: Native to northern Africa, Europe and western parts of temperate Asia (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 3). In North America, it is present in western and eastern sides of the continent (USDA-NRCS 2016Footnote 4, Mersereau and DiTommaso 2003Footnote 2).
Duration of life cycle
Seed or fruit type
Schizocarp, divided into 2 fruits
- Fruit length: 1.0 - 2.0 mm
- Fruit width: 0.5 - 1.5 mm
- Fruit is reniform to round with longitudinal groove on ventral side
- Fruit surface is wrinkled, may also be bubbled
- Fruit is brown to dark-brown
- The hilum is in a long groove on the inner side of the fruit
Habitat and Crop Association
Cultivated fields, pastures, natural meadows, old fields, forest edges, river flats, roadsides and waste places (Mersereau and DiTommaso 2003Footnote 2).
False baby's breath was introduced into North America as an ornamental plant, and first recorded in Canada in the late 1800s (Mersereau and DiTommaso 2003Footnote 2). Hybrids with the similar yellow bedstraw (Galium verum) have been recorded (Mersereau and DiTommaso 2003Footnote 2).
Northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)
- Fruits of northern bedstraw are a similar size, reniform shape, brown colour and grooved hilum as false baby's breath.
- Northern bedstraw fruits are covered in flat, white bristles, while fruits of false baby's breath are glabrous.
Yellow bedstraw (Galium verum)
- Fruits of yellow bedstraw are a similar reniform shape, brown colour, grooved hilum and glabrous, wrinkled surface as false baby's breath.
- Yellow bedstraw fruits tend to be longer than false baby's breath by up to 0.5 mm, more curved in cross-section and the surface is heavily wrinkled and bubbled.
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