Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome, mat-forming 10 - 20 cm tall Stem: slender, four-angled, intricately branched, rough. Leaves: in whorls of four, 2 - 10 mm long, reverse lance-shaped with a rounded tip, one-veined, rough along the margins and on the midrib beneath. Inflorescence: a single flower or a small, branched cluster of two flowers growing from a leaf axil. Flowers: greenish white, tiny, more or less flat and circular in outline, with three blunt lobes. Stamens four, shorter than corolla. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, 1 mm wide, spherical, paired, separating when ripe, one-seeded.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Habitat and ecology: Rare and probably extirpated from most of the Chicago Region. It is typically found in swampy ground.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Galium comes from the Greek words brevi, meaning short, and pedes, meaning foot. Brevipes means elegant.