Perennial herb with a creeping rhizome 20 cm - 0.6 m tall Stem: upright or ascending, slender, four-angled, unbranched or branched from the base, more or less hairy. Leaves: in whorls of four, 2 - 5 cm long, 1 - 2.5 cm wide, egg-shaped to elliptic to oblong egg-shaped with a blunt tip, three- to five-veined, sometimes thinly hairy. Inflorescence: a small cluster of flowers, unbranched, or with one or two widely spreading forks. Flowers: distantly spaced, stalkless or nearly so, greenish purple, small, more or less flat and circular in outline, often softly hairy, with four short, pointed lobes. Stamens four, alternating with lobes, shorter than corolla. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, reflexed, 3 mm wide, spherical, paired, separating when ripe (often only one fully develops), one-seeded, with hooked bristles.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: late June to early July
Habitat and ecology: Woods.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Galium comes from the Greek word gala, meaning milk, referring to the plants that are used to curdle milk. Circaezans means "resembling Circaea" (Enchanter's nightshade).